ITER Cryostat Lower Cylinder Has Been Installed
A major assembly milestone has been achieved at Cadarache, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) site.
The cryostat lower cylinder has been installed, reaching its position above the base sector.
The installation process has been long and very cautious and started on 22 August, when a 192-wheel self-propelled transport trailer slowly transferred the component into the Assembly Hall.
Then, on 31 August everything was ready, and the progressive process of lifting and transferring a steel ring the diameter of the Stonehenge stone circle could begin.
Some 15 hours after the beginning of operations, the cryostat lower cylinder reached its near-final position above the base section.
After one week of additional adjustments, the lower cylinder is now settled in its final position.
The gap between the two cryostat sections has been reduced to just 6 millimetres or less, so the automatic welding operations, which are expected to last 4 to 5 months, are ready to start.
More details on the ITER website.
The ITER, the world’s largest nuclear fusion project began its five-year assembly phase on Tuesday, 28th July 2020.
Assembly in Cadarache is expected to be over in late 2025.
The €20bn ITER project will replicate the reactions that power the sun and is intended to demonstrate fusion power can be generated on a commercial scale.
Specialists from the EU, UK, China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the US are working on the ITER construction.
The steel and concrete superstructures nestled in the hills of southern France will house a 23,000-tonne machine, known as a tokamak, capable of creating what is essentially an earthbound star.