News & events
MAST Upgrade’s big move | 26/05/2016
Wednesday 25 May was a significant day for the MAST Upgrade project, as the main body of the UK’s new fusion device was lifted into place – all 41 tonnes of it.
This is the most visible sign yet that the assembly of MAST Upgrade is rapidly heading towards completion. Since early 2014, the tokamak’s vacuum vessel (where the hot plasma for fusion experiments will be contained) has resided in a preparation area where it has been stripped down, cleaned and refitted with thousands of new parts including magnetic coils, protective tiles and diagnostic systems.
Now the steel vessel is back in its concrete-shielded machine area, the process of gradually installing the remaining parts can begin, before commissioning and the all-important ‘first plasma’ in 2017.
Project Leader Joe Milnes said: “The vessel lift embodies the huge amount of work that’s been done to get MAST Upgrade to this stage. We undoubtedly still have some final technical challenges to overcome this year, but operations like this show that we’re up for them as we move into the last phase of the project and finish this fantastic machine.”
Watch a video of the vacuum vessel being moved into position: