On Tuesday 26 May, the 1250-ton soup-bowl-shaped base of the ITER cryostat was regularly lifted from its body, carried throughout the Assembly Hall to the Tokamak Building and ultimately lowered into the Tokamak meeting pit on the ITER facility close to Cadarache in southeastern France.
The operation within the machine meeting theatre marked the fruits of a ten-year effort to design, manufacture, ship, assemble and weld one of the crucial essential parts of the ITER machine—the 30-metre-high, 30-metre-in-diameter ITER cryostat (of which the bottom is just one half)—which can act as a thermos, insulating the magnetic system at cryogenic temperature from the skin atmosphere.
Procured by India, manufactured in segments by Larsen & Toubro Ltd at its Hazira manufacturing unit, the cryostat is assembled and welded on website.
One of probably the most delicate phases of the operation slowly unfolded because the cryostat base descended into the deep concrete cylinder, virtually brushing its internal partitions, to be positioned inside millimetre accuracy into its assist system.
At the beginning of the operation, ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot had confused the distinctive significance of the second and expressed his confidence within the operation’s success. “The coming moments will stand out within the minds and reminiscences of us all,” he mentioned. “What you’ll accomplish as we speak, as a group, is one thing that has by no means been accomplished earlier than in historical past—and though you may have rehearsed it many instances, it is going to be a first-of-a-kind operation. We belief the engineering calculations, technique and management. We belief the supplies science. We belief the metrology. But my confidence as we speak is as a result of I belief you to work as one dedicated and extremely skilled group, satisfied as all of us are that failure is just not an possibility.”
And fail it didn’t. By Wednesday afternoon, the primary and heaviest element of the ITER machine was positioned at its remaining altitude just a few centimetres above the hydraulic jacks that can assist its weight till remaining metrology and changes are carried out and the load will be transferred to the cryostat assist.
With this spectacular achievement, a brand new chapter has opened within the lengthy historical past of ITER, one of the crucial formidable power tasks on this planet as we speak.
In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to construct the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion machine that has been designed to show the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free supply of power primarily based on the identical precept that powers our Sun and stars.
The experimental marketing campaign that can be carried out at ITER is essential to advancing fusion science and getting ready the way in which for the fusion energy crops of tomorrow.
The tokamak is an experimental machine designed to harness the power of fusion. Inside a tokamak, the power produced via the fusion of atoms is absorbed as warmth within the partitions of the vessel. Just like a traditional energy plant, a fusion energy plant will use this warmth to provide steam after which electrical energy by the use of generators and mills.
First developed by Soviet analysis within the late 1960s, the tokamak has been adopted world wide as probably the most promising configuration of magnetic fusion machine. ITER would be the world’s largest tokamak—twice the scale of the biggest machine at the moment in operation, with ten instances the plasma chamber quantity.
(Source and picture: ITER)

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