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Building Iter

Above, the main hoists of the Assembly Building, capable of handling loads of up to 1,500 tonnes. On the shop floor, some of the specialized tooling required to assemble, lift and finally manoeuver ITER's supersized components. (Click to view larger version...)
Above, the main hoists of the Assembly Building, capable of handling loads of up to 1,500 tonnes. On the shop floor, some of the specialized tooling required to assemble, lift and finally manoeuver ITER's supersized components.
Adjacent to the Tokamak Complex, the Assembly Building will be the location for pre-assembly activities on the massive components of the ITER device before they are transported to the Tokamak Pit for installation. This vast workshop will host custom-made tools as well as two 750-tonne cranes that will travel the length of the Assembly and Tokamak buildings.

Here, for example, each of the nine steel sectors of the ITER vacuum vessel will be sub-assembled with thermal shielding and two toroidal field coils before being lifted and positioned inside the machine.

Work began in June 2012 to prepare the site for the Assembly Building. Particularly complex steel reinforcement, with numerous openings reserved for electrical galleries, drainage, piping and tunnels to service the neighbouring Tokamak Complex, was then set into place. Concrete pouring for the basemat followed, from November 2012 to May 2013. The completed basemat ranges in thickness from 1.2-2.2 metres with large embedded plates for Assembly Building tooling in three areas.

Construction of the steel-structured frame was completed in September 2015 with the lifting of the massive 730-tonne roof structure. Commissioning is now underway on two 750-tonne overhead cranes and two 50-tonne auxiliary cranes that were installed last year. Most recently (June 2017), the first elements of the facility's largest tool—the vacuum vessel sector sub-sector assembly tool—were delivered and stored. The tool should fully erected and ready for commissioning activities at the end of the year.

Assembly Building Facts:

  • Excavation and foundation work: 12 months
  • Building dimensions: Height: 60 metres; Length: 97 metres; Width: 60 metres
  • Basemat: 1,400 tonnes of steel; 10,000 m³ of concrete
  • Structure: 6,000 tonnes of steel
  • Foundation thickness: 1.2‒2.2 metres
  • Number of specialized tools anchored in basemat: 4
  • Number of columns: 11 main (and eleven supporting) on each side of the building
  • Capacity of main cranes: 1,500 tonnes together
  • Capacity of auxiliary cranes: 50 tonnes each