Early on Tuesday, 30 April the usual hustle and bustle on the fifth floor of the ITER Headquarters came to a short halt as ITER management gathered in front of a video camera to participate remotely in an event taking place at the European Domestic Agency, Fusion for Energy (F4E) in Barcelona. An event marking another milestone in the project's history book: the kick-off meeting for Tender Batch 03, which is project code for the contract covering the construction of the Tokamak Complex plus another eight support buildings.
The Tokamak Complex will be a seven-storey reinforced concrete building with a steel-frame crane hall and a total mass of around 335,000 tons. It comprises the Tokamak Building plus the adjacent Diagnostic and Tritium buildings. All three are connected and supported by a common basemat.
In addition to the Tokamak Complex, another eight buildings will be erected within the frame of the TB03 contract over the next 66 months, as well as 60 nuclear doors that will provide containment and radiation shielding during ITER operation and maintenance and three bridges. The scope of work comprises all civil works, heavy doors supply and implementation and finishing works.
The preparation for Tender Batch 03 began with a competitive dialogue in July 2011 and concluded with the award of the contract to the VFR consortium on 20 December 2012. The VFR consortium brings together VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Razel-Bec, Dodin Campenon Bernard, Campenon Bernard Sud-Est, GTM Sud and Chantiers Modernes Sud as well as the Spanish company Ferrovial Agroman.
"The start of this contract is one of the most important ITER milestones, as building construction is the main driving force of this project," Director-General Osamu Motojima stated in his remarks following opening words from F4E Director Henrik Binslev. "This kick-off meeting will be recorded in the history of the project and fusion research," Motojima went on, before he welcomed the Vinci consortium as "a new and important member" of the ITER team. "We are very much looking forward to working together closely. It will be my great pleasure to witness the daily progress from my office window."
Read more about the kick-off meeting on the F4E website here.
Mid-May: The 1:1 scale mockup of B2 foundation slab reinforcement is now ready for concrete pouring tests. The challenge will be to ensure that the concrete is uniformly distributed throughout the mockup's dense metal skeleton.
Approximately half of the propping and formwork is completed for the B2 slab. Reinforcement activities have started—in all 4,000 tons of rebar will be installed.
The last segment of the Assembly Building slab was poured on 21 May. On its 6,000 m² surface, certain of the largest made-to-order assembly tools will take their place in a few years. The steel structure of the building will rise 60 metres overhead.
In the Tokamak Seismic Pit, reinforcement work gets underway early May. Four thousand tons of steel are planned for the 1.5-metre-thick Tokamak Complex basemat.
The backfill around the drain pipes is filled in progressively and compacted in stages. Photo: F4E
Work will begin on the civil works of the 360,000, three-building Tokamak Complex in 2013. The European Domestic Agency for ITER concluded the civil works contract with the French-Spanish consortium VFR in December. Photo: F4E
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