All processing, repair, refurbishment, and testing of components that have become activated by neutron exposure will take place in the ITER Hot Cell, a 200,000-cubic-metre, five-level structure near the Tokamak Complex.
The ITER Hot Cell Complex supports the operation, maintenance and decommissioning of the ITER Tokamak. The complex consists of three buildings: the Hot Cell Building, the Radwaste and the Personnel Access Control Buildings. Together they provide a secure environment for the processing, repair or refurbishment, testing, and disposal of ITER components that have become activated by neutron exposure.
Although no radioactive products are produced by the fusion reaction itself, energetic neutrons interacting with the walls of the vacuum vessel
will "activate" these materials over time. Also, materials can become contaminated by beryllium and tungsten dust, and tritium.
Heavy refurbishment operations within the Hot Cell Facility will be performed by remote handling
systems capable of handling components up to the size of a school bus. The Hot Cell Facility will also house remote handling equipment for simulation and rehearsal of operations.
In addition, the Hot Cell Facility will perform the removal of tritium from tritiated components and materials. This operation will be housed in a safe, confined, and shielded area containing analytical systems for tritium measurement, and a detritiation system for gaseous streams in order to minimize releases and waste.
All waste materials will be treated, packaged, and temporarily stored in the Hot Cell Facility before being handed over to the French authorities.