The ITER Organization announced last week that the first plant system components had been delivered to the construction site of the experimental fusion project in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, France.

"The timely delivery of these first plant components — in conformity with the schedule proposed in 2010 — is an example to be followed," said Sergio Orlandi, directorate head (Plant System Engineering).

The first shipment, which came from the United States, comprised four crates containing twelve high voltage surge arrestors. Logistics service provider DAHER handled the shipment of the components from New York.

The surge arresters, manufactured by ABB, belong to a large system that will be installed between the 400 kV switchyard and the transformers that feed power to the ITER plant systems and components. As their name suggests, they are designed to protect the transformers from a major voltage surge that can be caused by lightning.

The remaining components needed to connect ITER to the dedicated 400 kV switchyard are expected to arrive on site before the end of September and are due to be installed in early 2015, ITER says.

The components are the first of many thousands to be delivered to ITER by the project’s members. Around 300 convoys are expected travel to the ITER site over the first five years of construction.

Photo: High voltage surge arrestors are the first components delivered to ITER