27 January 2023

Nuclear industry and Big Science

In-vessel installation: ITER Organization validates our handling systems

The purpose of the Mechanical Handling Equipment for In-Vessel Assembly (MHE) contract — triggered in January 2016 — was to studyproduce and qualify the resources to be used during work on the ITER job site for the assembly of the internal components in the vacuum chamber.

Within the « Mechanical Handling Equipment for In-Vessel Assembly (MHE) » contract signed in 2018, CNIM Systèmes Industriels has been entrusted with the production of precision handling systems such as:

  • In-Vessel Tower Crane, a precise mobile handling system, assembles components on the wall of the vacuum vessel
  • Through-Port Transfer System and special tools, system for transferring internal components into and out of the tokamak
  • Trial, Test & Training Facility — TTTF, a scale 1 test bench simulating several sectors of the ITER vacuum vessel, with operator access platforms, aerial work platforms.

The MHE contract includes for 3 work packages, for which the manufacturing of component models and the validation of the installation sequences within the tokamak must be validated.

It's done!

Our teams carried out the tests relating to the installation of the 3 kinds of components to be installed within the vacuum chamber:

  • Handling and positioning the manifold mock-ups piping needed to cool the vacuum vessel. Each manifold is seven metres long and weighs up to 600 kg
  • Handling and positioning the ELM coil magnets mock-ups, each of which is 2 m x 4 m in size and weighs a tonne
  • Handling and positioning — to within half a millimetre — the radiation shield blocks mock-ups, each of which is a cubic metre in size and weighs up to five tons. There will be a total of 440 to be positioned on the site.

The tests were successful. The different sequences tested all respected the installation and un-installation times expected by ITER.

These tests allowed us to appreciate the great ease of use of the tools designed and manufactured by CNIM Systèmes Industriels.

We would like to thank the teams who have been working on this project for months and the customer for his trust.

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