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The ITER Tokamak Complex rises

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The impressive complex consisting of the Tokamak, Diagnostics and Tritium buildings is rising fast. The construction and reinforcement works of the floors, walls and ceilings are offering a rare view of the inner-core of this iconic edifice. To obtain these results, F4E and ITER International Organization have been diligently co-ordinating a long list of contractors. A team of 300 people from the Vinci Ferrovial Razel (VFR) consortium have been working exclusively at the Tokamak Complex to deliver the seven floors of this facility on time. Workforces from the Engage consortium, Tiresia, Energhia and Apave have also been deployed to this delicate construction task. The ground floor has been completed and the progress of the first floor varies from 35% in the case of the Tritium building to 99% in the case of the Diagnostics building, where works for its second floor have advanced. The Tokamak Complex will be 80 m tall – of which 20 m will be below the ground, 120 m long and 80 m wide. Given the fact that this building will host the ITER machine, and more than 30 systems required for its operation, its total load will reach 400 000 tonnes. This complex will have to comply with high standards and accommodate the multiple interfaces and sub-systems that will be gradually integrated.

There has also been more progress in the construction of the bioshield. This concrete ring, which measures 30 m x 30 m, is going to shield the ITER cryostat from top to bottom and ensure radio protection. Most of the works on the first floor have been completed integrating the heavy embedded plates, the robust metallic structures rooted under the concrete upon which tooling will be welded, and high density reinforcement. There has also been real progress on the second and third floors of the bioshield levels. To view the state of play of the first floor of the Tokamak Complex click on the graph showing in green the completed plots, in amber the works on-going and in yellow those that will follow.

Following the successful lifting of two massive cranes, the workforces in the Assembly Hall have been focusing on the building’s fire protection, the installation of rails for the two smaller cranes and the cladding activities on the East and West facades. In the adjacent Cleaning Facility, where the ITER equipment will be cleaned from any impurities before it is assembled, all columns have been erected and the cladding of the West wing has started.

The 80 metre-long Site Services building is entering a new phase with the preparatory works of topography and measurement on-going. This facility will provide the ITER buildings and equipment with cold/hot water and compressed air amongst other things. It will also host other equipment like chillers and air compressors. The first office areas will soon be ready and in October the first cable trays will be installed.

For ITER to generate its 500 MW power it will require power. So at what stage are the power generating facilities? The excavation and drainage works have progressed in the area of the Magnet Power Conversion building, which will host the equipment that will covert 66 kV alternating current to direct current in order to supply ITER’s superconducting magnets with power. The slab of the fifth of the seven transformers to supply the ITER machine and some of its systems with power is now ready. The installation of a new transformer which has arrived from China is planned for October.

More civil engineering works have been unfolding on the site, mainly in the Radio Frequency building, where the foundations and slab have been completed and the columns of the first floor will soon be erected. Similarly, excavation and drainage works for other facilities are being performed.

View of the ITER Bioshield, ITER construction site, August 2016, LNM (copyright)
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