Happy faces in Greifswald after a nerve-wracking week, which began on 10 November, the day the last magnet module of Wendelstein 7-X was to be assembled. A crane was to insert the 100 ton segment together with a 15 ton outer shell into the vessel ring. TV crews had set-up their cameras and journalists had their notepads ready, and then the remote control of the crane failed. But, less than one week later, on November 16th, the module was finally put in place.

At the end of December the upper shell of the outer vessel will be mounted onto this module. Before that, the five modules will be joined together: the cryo pipes, the bus and instrumentation systems will be connected, the central rings will be bolted, and the plasma and outer vessels will be welded. It all sounds easier than it actually is: the challenge throughout the assembly of W 7-X has always been mounting multi-ton components with sub millimetre precision.

“The completion of the torus is a very important milestone for Wendelstein 7-X. It took only three hours to conduct the challenging lifting process of the last completed magnet module onto the machine base. We are proud of our assembly team, which has done a marvellous job. This success belongs to the entire Wendelstein 7-X project and to our various collaborators and industrial partners. We now have in front of us a number of demanding work packages, but we are confident that the completion date mid 2014 can be kept.”

Thomas Klinger, Scientific Director of the Wendelstein 7-X project