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US ITER – Power trip

  • ORNL staff contributed to the successful transport of ITER’s first central solenoid module, which crossed the Brazos River in Texas on a specially equipped girder trailer as it neared the port of Houston en route to France. Credit: Yesenia Rodriguez/US Ocean

  • The first central solenoid module arrived at the ITER site in St. Paul-lez-Durance, France on Sept. 9. Credit: ITER Organization

  • ORNL staff contributed to the successful transport of ITER’s first central solenoid module, which crossed the Brazos River in Texas on a specially equipped girder trailer as it neared the port of Houston en route to France. Credit: Yesenia Rodriguez/US Ocean

  • The first central solenoid module arrived at the ITER site in St. Paul-lez-Durance, France on Sept. 9. Credit: ITER Organization

Staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory organized transport for a powerful component that is critical to the world’s largest experiment, the international ITER project.

After a successful journey to France, a 1,200-ton magnet coil arrived in September at the ITER site. ITER will demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy for practical electricity, including achievement of a 500-megawatt burning plasma. US ITER, managed by ORNL, is contributing the 60-foot-tall central solenoid magnet, plus other hardware systems, to ITER’s first plasma.

This first module’s journey followed years of meticulous planning from California, where it was fabricated by General Atomics. The solenoid will be the world’s most powerful pulsed, stacked superconducting magnet.

“US ITER has never shipped anything of this mass and value before,” said ORNL’s Kevin Freudenberg, analysis and design integration manager for US ITER, whose team made the complex trip look routine. 

The second module will be delivered to ITER later this month. – Kristen Coyne