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Fusion – ITER assembly begins

  • The 1250 ton cryostat base is positioned over the ITER tokamak pit for installation. This base is the heaviest lift of tokamak assembly. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The massive cranes of the tokamak assembly building carry the 1250 cryostat base to the tokamak building. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The 1250 ton cryostat base begins its journey to the ITER tokamak pit. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The tokamak pit in the foreground is the destination for the heaviest lift of ITER assembly, the 1250 ton cryostat base. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The tokamak pit is in final stages of cleaning and preparation for receiving the 1250-ton cryostat base, which will be the heaviest lift of tokamak assembly. Credit: ITER Organization

  • ITER staff inside the “dish” of the cryostat base. The 1250 ton base will initially be lifted just a few centimeters in preparation for its transfer to the tokamak pit. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The international ITER facility is now under construction in rural southern France, about 1 hour north of Marseille. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The first central solenoid module will be ready for shipment to ITER from the US by late summer. Credit: GA

  • The 1250 ton cryostat base is positioned over the ITER tokamak pit for installation. This base is the heaviest lift of tokamak assembly. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The massive cranes of the tokamak assembly building carry the 1250 cryostat base to the tokamak building. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The 1250 ton cryostat base begins its journey to the ITER tokamak pit. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The tokamak pit in the foreground is the destination for the heaviest lift of ITER assembly, the 1250 ton cryostat base. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The tokamak pit is in final stages of cleaning and preparation for receiving the 1250-ton cryostat base, which will be the heaviest lift of tokamak assembly. Credit: ITER Organization

  • ITER staff inside the “dish” of the cryostat base. The 1250 ton base will initially be lifted just a few centimeters in preparation for its transfer to the tokamak pit. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The international ITER facility is now under construction in rural southern France, about 1 hour north of Marseille. Credit: ITER Organization

  • The first central solenoid module will be ready for shipment to ITER from the US by late summer. Credit: GA

ITER, the world’s largest international scientific collaboration, is beginning assembly of the fusion reactor tokamak that will include 12 different essential hardware systems provided by US ITER, which is managed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The systems include superconductors for the toroidal field magnet system and ORNL-developed pellet injection technology for plasma fueling and performance. These critical components will help ITER achieve its mission to demonstrate a self-heated, burning plasma and 500 megawatts of fusion power.

The 60-foot-tall central solenoid magnet, also fabricated under ORNL management, is considered the “heart of ITER” because it will initiate and drive plasma current inside the tokamak.

“The start of ITER tokamak assembly is a momentous milestone for the project and makes the fusion community — at Oak Ridge and around the world — excited for the future,” Kathy McCarthy, US ITER project director, said.

The first shipment of central solenoid modules to ITER, located in southern France, will begin later this year.