News & events
Lift-off for MAST Upgrade | 10/01/2014
It's all systems go for the upgrade of the UK's fusion experiment MAST after a nailbiting operation to move the entire machine was completed just before Christmas.
In order to refit MAST's magnetic coils, diagnostics, power supplies and a plethora of other systems, the tokamak has had to be stripped down and removed from its machine hall to an assembly area where upgrade work can be carried out. And transporting 25 tonnes of extremely valuable scientific hardware, even a relatively short distance, is no mean feat.
The concrete housing in which MAST was contained was sliced with diamond cutters to create a ‘MAST-sized' hole for the device to be lifted through with the help of a specially-installed crane with a 50-tonne capacity.
After weeks of careful planning and preparation the lift took place on December 23 and went without a hitch – allowing the project team at CCFE to enjoy their Christmas that little bit more. “It was wonderful to see the progress made by the MAST Upgrade team,” commented Director Steve Cowley after viewing the MAST vessel in its new temporary home.
The next stage of the project will soon begin with further stripping down of the vessel before the £30 million refit gets underway in earnest.