This month, we have witnessed the successful lifting and lowering into the machine well of the first sub-section of the ITER plasma chamber. The weight of the component is the impressive 1,380 tonnes leaving the crane operators a clearance of merely 20 cm over the concrete wall. To translate these dimensions into plain language, it is enough to imagine the hight of a six storey building and the weight of four fully loaded Boeing 747s.
The sub-section composes one-ninth of the toroidal plasma chamber. It was extremely important to prepare to this operation and the ITER team has been very active in this process in the ITER Assembly Hall, April – December 2021.The rigging elements were tested singly and in tandem to permit the assembly teams to make sure that the sequence and coordination is right.
Among the successful milestone actors one should mention the Korean Domestic Agency, Japanese Domestic Agency, European Domestic Agency as well as partners from India and Russia. At the same time, on the ground it was the ITER Organization construction team and the contractor MOMENTUM who took care of the success of the operation.
The lifting operation with suspending the component only 50 centimetres above the supports will be enthusiastically celebrated as it makes the First Plasma appear on the horizon clearer and clearer.
Photo: On 11 May 2022, the ITER Organization team achieves a major assembly milestone: lifting the first sub-section of the ITER plasma chamber out of tooling and lowering it into the machine well. Credit © ITER Organization, http://www.iter.org