The ITER Organisation recently announced that the lower cylinder of the cryostat for the experimental nuclear fusion reactor under construction in the South of France has now been settled in its final position.
The cryostat is a 29 x 29 metre vacuum containment vessel that is also the single largest component of the ITER machine which completely surrounds the vacuum vessel and superconducting magnet. This fully welded single wall stainless steel structure with a flat bottom, has two key roles to play: providing a vacuum environment to critical “cold” components and contributing structural reinforcement by supporting the mass of the machine and transferring horizontal and rotational forces to the radial walls.
Manufacturing has been structured in three stages: the fabrication of 54 segments in India; their subsequent assembly at ITER into four large sections (base, lower cylinder, upper cylinder, top lid); and the final assembly and welding of the large sections in the Tokamak Pit.
Senior members of our team have been involved in some of the stages of this process, collaborating with the ITER teams and carrying out FE analyses through the design iterations and developing an initial FE model for lifting tools in place as well as delivering a final summary report of this work.
Today we are celebrating the announcement and sharing with pride this momentous achievement.
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