64 metre long convoy carrying one of the two girders of the Assembly Hall cranes
has made it to the ITER site. It has been a long trip for this metallic
structure since it left the workshop of the NKMNOELL-REEL consortium towards the
end of February. Due to its impressive size, and weight of roughly 200 tonnes, special
arrangements had to be made. In fact, it is considered as the biggest convoy to
date and it happens to be Europe’s first-ever heavy exceptional equipment to
ITER. DAHER, responsible
for the logistics and transportation of ITER components, undertook this mission
impossible and made it possible.
The best way
to visualise the size of the convoy is to imagine 15 medium-size cars driving
slowly at 2-5 km/hour at night, so as not to disturb the local community, following
a specific route of 104 km meticulously adapted by the French authorities. The
delivery of the two girders has unfolded during two weeks because they had to
be transported one at a time. With both girders now on site another milestone
in the area of buildings and infrastructure, managed by F4E and ITER
International Organization, has been accomplished.
Each of the
two girders is more than 46 metres in length with overall cross dimensions of
about 4 x 3.5 metres. Think of the girders as the shoulders of the electric
cranes that will travel between the Assembly Hall and the Tokamak building. The
heaviest components will be lifted by two 750 tonne cranes. When working in
tandem they will be able to lift 1 500 tonnes, which is approximately the
weight of four Boeing 747 aircrafts.
to the trolleys, once their assembly is completed, and have undergone factory
tests, they will be delivered on site by the end of April. Meanwhile, the
spectacular lifting 60 metres above the ground of the equipment and cabling making
up the cranes is foreseen to take place in June.
To view more images
of the of the transportation of the girders click here.