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Start of assembly | World dignitaries celebrate a collaborative achievement

Due to the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the crowd in the ITER Assembly Hall was small. But thanks to live broadcasting and video feed, the audience was global. On Tuesday 28 July, as the machine assembly phase symbolically kicked off, President Macron of France and dignitaries from the seven ITER Members acknowledged the importance of the moment, reaffirmed their confidence in ITER success, and congratulated the 'One ITER team' for the remarkable progress accomplished in exceptionally challenging times. The moment was historic. Ten years after the start of construction in August 2010, ITER was marking a new chapter in its long history. In the months and weeks that preceded Tuesday's event, several strategic components had been delivered to the construction site—among them one toroidal field coil from Europe and two from Japan. The first vacuum vessel sector from Korea was unloaded at Marseille harbour on 22 July and is expected on site in a little more than a week. 'As we launch the assembly phase of the ITER machine,' said ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot in his introductory address, 'we feel the weight of history. It is now one hundred years since scientists first understood that fusion energy was the power source for the Sun and stars and some six decades since the first tokamak was built in the Soviet Union... [...] We feel the need for both urgency and patience. We know we need a replacement for fossil fuels as soon as possible. [...] We are moving forward as rapidly as possible ... If we succeed, it will be worth all the time and effort that have brought us to this point.' Speaking remotely from China, Luo Delong, the Head of the ITER Council, saluted 'the entire ITER community—every Member, every Domestic Agency, every supplier company and contractor, and every staff member—for their dedication, perseverance, commitment, and hard work. If we are able to continue in this way I have great confidence that we will succeed.' The moment that followed was both warm and solemn. President Macron of France, speaking from the Elysée Palace in Paris, defined ITER in terms of its promise. ITER is a promise of peace, he said—the proof that 'what brings together people and nations is stronger than what pulls them apart.' It is also a 'promise of progress and of confidence in science' that, if successful, will be an energy that will 'answer the needs of populations in all parts of the world, meet the challenges of climate change and preserve natural resources.' And, perhaps above all, ITER is 'an act of confidence' in the future. 'ITER belongs to the spirit of discovery, of ambition. At its core is the conviction that science can truly make tomorrow better than today.' The international dimension of ITER and its importance for world leaders was spectacularly illustrated by the messages that followed President Macron's address. On a giant screen in the ITER Assembly Hall, in the shadow of giant assembly tools, dignitaries from the seven ITER Members successively appeared to deliver their own message or convey that their heads of state or of government: the Council of the European Union and the European Commission as Host Member, China, India, Japan, Korea (with President Moon Jae-in appearing in person), Russia and the United States. All reaffirmed the unique nature of ITER and its importance for the future of humankind. (See box). To this major event, the world media gave the echo it deserved (see Press Clippings on the ITER website). One would have needed to live on another planet not to be informed that—on 28 July 2020—the ITER Project, the largest science collaboration ever established, had entered the decisive machine assembly phase. Watch the full video of the event here. See the new ITER machine assembly video in English or in French. Download the commemorative ITER Progress in Pictures photobook for 2013-2020 here.

Component delivery| A jewel in a box

Sailing under the flag of Germany, the Regine is a mighty ship, strengthened for heavy cargo and equipped on its portside with two 750-tonne on-board cranes. Having sailed from Korea on 25 June, the ship berthed at Marseille-Fos harbor on the morning of 21 July. In its hold, the ship carried a dull, cabin-sized metal box with slated walls and a corrugated roof. The box was nondescript, but inside it contained a 450-tonne jewel that had been more than ten years in the making. An ITER vacuum vessel sector is a wondrous piece of technology and one of the most challenging sub-components of the whole machine. As the vacuum vessel acts as the first confinement barrier for the burning plasma, its elements are subject to stringent regulations, strict controls and in-depth inspections at every stage of the fabrication process. A single sector (and it takes nine to form the toroidal structure of the vacuum vessel) comprises approximately 20 kilometres of welds that must all be carefully verified and tested, and for which several dozen ultrasound scanning techniques were developed. Captain Franck Escher, of the Regine, was aware that his cargo was unique. His ship had handled loads that were considerably heavier, but none as precious as the one he was preparing to unload. The operation was a long and delicate one that lasted more than two hours. Equipped with a complex rigging arrangement, the load was slowly lifted from the deep cargo hold, pivoted to align with the waiting transportation platform, and finally lowered and positioned carefully onto the waiting flatbed truck. All the while powerful pumps, capable of moving 500 tonnes of water per hour, were filling ballasts on the starboard side of the ship to compensate for the weight of the cabin-sized component. Another convoy, among the heaviest that will cross the inland sea Étang-de-Berre and travel the ITER Itinerary, is now on its way to the ITER construction site, heralding the start of a new project phase: machine assembly. Click here to watch a video of the unloading operation on 22 July, commented by ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot and Vacuum Vessel Project Team leader Chang Ho Choi.

Education | Make your own tokamak with 3D printing!

It's not Lego, but it is definitely 'hands-on.' To offer a tangible device to illustrate the workings of magnetic confinement fusion in a tokamak, the ITER Organization has worked with the Hungarian Centre for Energy Research to create a 3D-printable model for students, teachers, and 'makers' around the world. The model made its first public appearance during ITER's start-of-assembly celebration on Tuesday 28 July. Newsline readers have been following with keen interest as ITER's supersized components have been navigating the seas and reinforced roadways en route to the ITER site. Fusion enthusiasts, the tech-geek maker community, and educators routinely send requests for ideas and materials to assist in explaining the complexities of the ITER machine to students and public audiences. Responding to these requests, the ITER communication team worked with Tamás Szabolics and Márton Vavrik from the Centre for Energy Research (Hungarian Academy of Sciences), who used ITER's computer CAD drawings to create a simplified model suitable for 3D printing. The model will allow users to print out each major component, to explain the functions of the various magnet systems, and to follow along with ITER's assembly over the coming years. See these resources for complete instructions: * A complete user guide for the 3D printing of the ITER Tokamak model is available here. It includes detailed instructions, links to recommended software, and contact information for additional help. * The recommended selection of plastic filaments can be found here. * The 3D print files can be found here and here. Additional component files will be added over time. * For a photographic record of what your printed components should look like, see this gallery. * A video showing the use of the model can be seen here.

Worksite | Europe's Fusion for Energy is building the ITER installation

Anyone driving to ITER can take full measure of the enormity of the project a few kilometers before reaching the destination. Gigantic cranes can be seen from a distance, rising from the 42-hectare construction platform. Structures in various stages of completion emerge one after the other. Orchestrating it all is the European Domestic Agency, Fusion for Energy. Under the warm glow of a June afternoon, cranes, construction machinery, and workers are all testament to intense activity, even though the workforce capacity on site has significantly decreased since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. ITER is moving forward. Thirty-nine scientific and auxiliary buildings will eventually take their place on the platform, housing the 10 million individual parts of the ITER machine and systems that have been manufactured in the factories of the seven ITER members. This is the daily environment of Laurent Schmieder, who is Program Manager for Buildings, Infrastructure and Power Supplies at Fusion for Energy, the agency orchestrating the European Union's contribution to the ITER Project. For the time being, construction progress is complying with the roadmap, making it possible to achieve the long-awaited December 2025 milestone, when ITER will produce its First Plasma. 'In budgetary terms, about two-thirds of our contracts have already been awarded,' Schmieder says. 'If we focus on the necessary building infrastructure for First Plasma, we reach 70 to 80 percent.' Intense activity Teams at Fusion for Energy completed a critical milestone in late March when they successfully transferred the vast assembly theatre to the ITER Organization, while many industrial and corporate activities in France and other countries had come to a near standstill. 'It has been quite a challenge,' says Schmieder. 'Everything was going according to plan despite the fact that we had bad weather last year. A few weeks before the March deadline, the COVID-19 episode fell upon us! Whereas 2,500 people usually work on site — including project management, contractors and consulting engineers — this number dropped to a few dozen for the first few weeks, then a few hundred. Today the number of workers on site is rising again gradually.' 'We were lucky to be granted the necessary discharges thanks to the support of the ITER Organization Director-General who was in contact with the French government,' Schmieder continues. 'The building was delivered on time, relieving the teams involved from a fair amount of stress. This late March objective was important because, until then, the most urgent expectations for the respect of the project schedule concentrated on this delivery. From that day on, they were shared with our colleagues responsible for assembly,' said Schmieder. Since then, assembly has indeed begun in the Tokamak Building. A game of musical chairs The health crisis nevertheless may impact forthcoming deliveries. 'We had to allocate every available resource to the delivery of the assembly theatre. Electrical equipment and transformer stations that should have been delivered in June are now expected between August and September. For further deliveries, we should be able to make up the backlog.' The buildings teams of ITER Organization and Fusion for Energy are progressively reorganizing to meet the challenges ahead. Those previously dedicated to the civil engineering of the Tokamak Building are now concentrating in particular on planning for the Hot Cell Facility, which represents the most important contracts to be signed this year, in terms of value (EUR 500 million). 'The Hot Cell has not been a priority until today because we first focused on the buildings required for First Plasma. But now, we have to move forward because it must be finalized for 2027.' Other buildings and infrastructure, crucial for First Plasma, are still in progress—for example the Control Building, or the bridges that will connect the Magnet Power Conversion buildings to the Tokamak Building. Many other areas are soon to be completed, such as the cryoplant and the heat rejection zone, where finishing touches are underway. Teams are also making headway on out-of-sight projects, such as underground networks. The Fusion for Energy building teams will have unveiled most of their realizations by First Plasma. However, they will remain mobilized until 2028-2030 to bring ITER construction to completion.

Disruption mitigation | Experts in plasma disruptions gather online

On 20-23 July, 120 international experts participated in the 1st IAEA Technical Meeting on Plasma Disruptions and their Mitigation, jointly organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the ITER Organization. The meeting covered all aspects of disruptions: their consequences, their prediction and avoidance, and—as a last resort—their mitigation. The aim was to summarize the present knowledge, to identify shortcomings, and to discuss possible R&D that addresses these. In tokamaks of the size of ITER, the consequences of plasma disruptions can strongly reduce the lifetime of components. Avoidance and mitigation of disruptions are therefore keys to a successful and timely execution of the ITER Research Plan. The ITER plasma control system for the first experimental campaigns will be developed starting next year and disruption avoidance will be given special attention when designing control schemes. The disruption mitigation system of ITER is presently designed and the Disruption Mitigation Task Force is working intensively on the design specifications and the development of key components of the system. The IAEA Technical Meeting was therefore a timely contribution to a coordinated international effort to improve our understanding of how to avoid and mitigate disruptions in ITER. As is becoming standard in these times, the meeting was held virtually. This format does not only come with restrictions, it also offers opportunities. The program committee decided to have all 61 contributions recorded as videos by the presenters one week in advance. The meeting webpage prepared by Matteo Barbarino, the Scientific Secretary of the meeting (IAEA), gave easy access to all contributions and allowed the participants to listen at times comfortable in their time zones and to exchange online about the content. Therefore everyone was well prepared for the live discussion during the actual meeting. Also the virtual coffee breaks, though not fully replacing the personal interaction as we know it from real meetings and conferences, were well received. In the end, the choice of the format resulted in a unique database of high quality presentation videos, openly accessible in about two weeks to everyone working in this field. Also see this report on the IAEA website.

Image of the week | Three, representing 10,000

Around the world, more than 10,000 people work together to make ITER a reality. 'Unfortunately, we cannot have them all with us today in person,' said ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot at the closure of the launch of assembly celebration on Tuesday 28 July. So I have asked three of them to join me on this stage—to represent all the workers in our global 'One-ITER' team—so that we can tell them how grateful we are for their hard work, dedication, and professional excellence.' The three young engineers called onstage were Laura Bertolo, from Europe, the lead contact engineer in the Assembly Hall; Aashoo Sharma, from India, a tokamak instrumentation engineer; and LIN Zuhuang, from China, a mechanical engineer working on Tokamak assembly—three "highly skilled and motivated" professionals to represent the 10,000-strong ITER workforce ...

of-interest

3D tour updated (June 2020)

The 360° virtual tour of ITER construction has been updated with drone footage from late May 2020. Plunge 30 metres into the ITER Tokamak pit, relive the insertion of the cryostat base, and fly in and out of the ITER plant buildings to see what has changed since the last update in February 2020..Accessible from the home page of the ITER website (yellow icon) or by clicking on the link below, the 2D tour requires no special equipment to enjoy. (If you do have 3D glasses, click on the yellow goggle symbol at the top of any screen.) Click here to enter the latest 360° ITER virtual tour.

ITER assembly | All you need to know in one spot

Timed to meet worldwide attention on the ITER Project at the launch of its machine assembly phase, a new section of the ITER website has just been released. The ITER assembly pages are the place to go for information, photos, videos, articles and links about the step-by-step process of building the world's largest tokamak. And, thanks to the skill of ITER CAD technician Kevin Ballant, the pages open to a new video that shows you how the ITER Organization assembly teams will proceed—from installing the cryostat base and lower cryostat components at the bottom of the assembly arena, to the placement of the central column and radial beams of the in-pit assembly tool, the vacuum sector sub-assemblies, the magnets, upper cryostat components, and finally the cryostat lid. Visit the new ITER assembly pages here.

video

ITER - The World's Largest Puzzle (2020)

publication

ITER Progress in Pictures 2013-2020, Construction and Manufacturing

press

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Euronews: термоядерный реактор во Франции должен стать основой энергетики будущего

El proyecto internacional de fusión nuclear Iter inicia su ensamblaje

Nu skal verdens største fusionsreaktor samles

На юге Франции недалеко от Марселя дали старт строительству экспериментального термоядерного реактора ITER

Путин поблагодарил Макрона за помощь по проекту ИТЭР

Kernfusionsreaktor ITER: Die entscheidende Bauphase beginnt

Erste Montage-Etappe von Kernfusionsreaktor Iter beginnt

Iter : l'assemblage du réacteur à fusion lancé par Emmanuel Macron

'태양의 힘' 재현...한국 참여한 '국제핵융합실험로' 조립 개시

국제공동 인공태양 프로젝트 'ITER 핵융합 반응장치' 조립 시작

Start of Assembly of the ITER - Message from Hon'ble PM

Global leaders celebrate start of assembly of ITER fusion energy-producing device

[朝闻天下]法国 国际热核聚变实验堆重大工程安装启动 中国深度参与建设工程备受好评

[朝闻天下]法国 国际热核聚变实验堆重大工程安装启动

Ensuring Reliable аnd Successful Operation оf ITER аnd DEMO

新エネルギー「地上の太陽」 仏で組み立て開始

新エネルギー源「ITER計画」核融合炉の組み立て開始

国際熱核融合炉「ITER」主要部の組み立て開始 仏で式典 25年の運転開始目指す

ITER Reactor, A Promise Of Peace, Moment In History: Macron

World's largest nuclear fusion project begins new phase in France

Assembly Phase Underway for ITER Nuclear Project

Work begins in France to recreate process that powers the Sun

ITER: Assembly of world's largest nuclear fusion reactor begins (video)

World's Largest Nuclear Fusion Reactor Begins Assembly in France (video)

Assembly of world's largest fusion reactor begins in France

Nuclear fusion gets ready for its close-up

Assembly begins on ITER, a massive scientific project that seeks to replicate the sun's fusion power here on Earth

France's global nuclear fusion device a puzzle of huge parts

Ceremony marks start of machine assembly of ITER reactor in France

Iter / World's Largest Nuclear Fusion Project Under Assembly In France

India welcomes start of assembly of world's largest fusion reactor; says paves way for clean source of energy

Iter : début de la phase d'assemblage du réacteur à fusion

Putin: Work on ITER fusion reactor undisrupted despite COVID-19 pandemic

Iter : la phase d'assemblage du Soleil artificiel a débuté

L'assemblage du gigantesque réacteur à fusion Iter a commencé dans les Bouches-du-Rhône

Assembly of world's largest fusion reactor underway

[특징주] 한국 참여 인공태양 조립 시작.. 인공태양 관련주 '들썩'

Role in world's biggest science project reflects India's capabilities: PM

[헬로디디]인류 최대 프로젝트 '인공태양' 띄울 '조립' 시작됐다

В Европе началась сборка мощнейшего термоядерного реактора

世界最大"人造太阳"昨日启动组装

Q≥10 — Diese Formel soll das Energieproblem der Menschheit lösen

Saint-Paul Lez Durance : l'assemblage d'Iter a été officiellement lancé, rencontre avec Bernard Bigot directeur général d'ITER Organizatio...

Nucléaire : qu'est-ce que l'Iter, le réacteur à fusion dont l'assemblage démarre ?

Bouches-du-Rhône : L'assemblage du réacteur à fusion de l'hydrogène Iter a débuté

Wunderstrom oder milliardenschweres Hirngespinst? Jahrhundertprojekt Iter

After a Decade of Work, ITER Assembly Begins

World's largest nuclear fusion project being assembled in France

Début de l'assemblage pour le réacteur à fusion Iter en vue de créer l'énergie du futur sur terre

ITER: a fúziós energia megszelídítése

Quest advances to recreate sun's energy on earth

Dispositivo de fusión nuclear en Francia, en fase crítica

Путин назвал проект ИТЭР примером международного сотрудничества

Проект ИТЭР показал, как можно преодолеть разногласия, заявил Макрон

Глава Росатома назвал главную задачу участников проекта ИТЭР

Путин поблагодарил Макрона за помощь по проекту ИТЭР

Интервью на "России 24". Красильников: аварии, связанные со взрывом ИТЭР или разрушением реактора, исключены

Новости на "России 24". Лихачев: где в России производят комплектующие для экспериментального термоядерного реактора

Во Франции начали собирать Международный экспериментальный термоядерный реактор ITER

Во Франции дан старт строительству с участием России экспериментального термоядерного реактора ITER

General Atomics Congratulates ITER on the Start of Machine Assembly

Iter: World's largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly

Drumbeat for ITER Assembly

President Xi sends congratulatory message to start of ITER Assembly

ITER ceremony marks start of the assembly phase

Solar power with a difference as ITER nuclear fusion assembly starts

Start of ITER assembly paves way for fusion energy era

Assembly of world's largest fusion reactor begins in France; S. Korea plays key role

Nucléaire: Lancement de l'assemblage du "puzzle" du réacteur Iter

Fusion Energy Era: ITER Assembly Begins — World's Largest Science Project to Replicate the Fusion Power of the Sun

Kernfusionsreaktor ITER: Die entscheidende Bauphase beginnt

World's largest nuclear fusion project begins assembly in France

Près de quinze ans après ses débuts, l'assemblage du réacteur du projet international ITER est lancé

Speech by Commissioner Simson at the Ceremony for the beginning of the assembly of the ITER project

Zusammenbau des Fusionstestreaktors ITER beginnt

Assembly of the ITER fusion test reactor begins

World's largest fusion plant set to create history

Saint Paul Lez Durance : Emmanuel Macron présidera en visio le lancement de l'assemblage d'ITER ce mardi

ITER- Γαλλία: Αρχίζει η Συναρμολόγηση των Μηχανημάτων του Μεγαλύτερου Θερμοπυρηνικού Αντιδραστήρα

Bouw miljarden kostende testreactor voor kernfusie van start

Début mardi de l'assemblage du réacteur à fusion du projet Iter

Nu ska ITER pussla ihop sin fusionsreaktor

Viimeinen etappi fuusiovoimala ITERin rakentamisessa alkaa — Alkaako energiatuotannon Graalin malja vihdoin siintää?

Aarbechten um Reakter ITER kommen an déi nächst Phas

World's largest fusion plant set to create history - ET EnergyWorld

New issue of the Wendelstein Newsletter

European Council decisions provide strong support for ITER

Les grands chantiers de la reprise : ITER, le réacteur nucléaire du futur (vidéo)

Sud: la Région au coeur de l'énergie du futur avec ITER

Saint Paul Lez Durance : Emmanuel Macron présidera en visio le lancement de l'assemblage d'ITER mardi prochain