ITER Project Achieved A Major Machine Assembly Milestone

Thursday 11th May the ITER Project achieved a major machine assembly milestone, as the first sub-section of the ITER plasma chamber was successfully lifted out of tooling and lowered into the machine well.

This major lifting operation took several months to prepare for the entire ITER and DYNAMIC SNC team, the Franco-Italian joint enterprise in charge of the TAC2 contract and formed by Ansaldo Nucleare (ENS Corporate Member), Endel Engie, Orys Group ORTEC, SIMIC, Ansaldo Energia, and Leading Metal Mechanic Solutions SL. On the ground, the operation was carried out by DYNAMIC SNC with crane operator Foselev and metrologists,
coordinated by ITER Organization

The first-of-a-kind operation was spectacular at many levels. The sheer weight of the component plus rigging—1,380 tonnes—came the closest yet to the nominal lift capacity (1,500 tonnes) of the double overhead bridge crane in the ITER Assembly Hall.

The multilayer rigging arrangement, added to an already tall load, left the crane operators with a clearance of only 20 cm over the concrete wall that delimits the machine assembly well. The teams achieved millimetre-level tolerances in the positioning of a component that towers six storeys high and weighs the equivalent of four fully-loaded Boeing 747s.

This first milestone in the Tokamak assembly marks a new stage in Ansaldo’s commitment to support the ITER project, and more generally in the creation of all-round industrial skills, from engineering to construction, to make the exploitation of the fusion nuclear power a real option for the future of energy

declared Roberto Adinolfi, President (and Interim CEO) of Ansaldo Nucleare.

The “piece” of the ITER machine lowered today represents one-ninth of the toroidal plasma chamber.

It is a modular assembly, formed from one 40° vacuum vessel sector fitted with silver-coated thermal shields, and two D-shaped vertical superconducting electromagnets called toroidal field coils. Eight other similar assemblies will form the complete chamber and surrounding toroidal field coil superstructure.

The ITER team had been actively preparing for this important lift operation for many months. The creation of the modular assembly took place on specialized tooling in the ITER Assembly Hall between April and December 2021.

Read the full ITER Press Release.

Find more info related to the ITER Project developments on ENS News Archive.