Construction of the ITER scientific installation began in 2010. At the heart of the facility, the Tokamak Complex is rising. (Photo: ITER Organization/EJF Riche, March 2023)
The ITER Project is currently under construction on a 180-hectare site in southern France.
Thirty-nine buildings and technical areas house the ITER Tokamak and its plant systems. The heart of the facility—the Tokamak Building—is a seven-storey structure in reinforced concrete that sits 13 metres below the platform level and 60 metres above. Pre-assembly of Tokamak components takes place in the adjacent Assembly Hall. Other auxiliary buildings in the vicinity of the Tokamak Building include cooling towers, electrical installations, a control room, facilities for the management of waste, and the cryogenics plant that will provide liquid helium to cool the ITER magnets.
Europe, as part of its commitments to the project, is building nearly all of the platform buildings and site infrastructure.
Each building, once structurally complete, is handed over to the ITER Organization for the installation and assembly of equipment. According to the European Domestic Agency, the number of workers involved in site construction peaked in 2017-2018 at approximately 2,000 people. Now, although there are still European construction teams on site, a large additional workforce is contributing to machine and plant assembly and installation operations. An estimated 5,000 people are regularly present on the worksite, including management, engineering and supervisory teams from the ITER Organization, the European Domestic Agency, and their contractors.
The successful integration and assembly of over one million components (ten million parts) built in the ITER Members' factories around the world and delivered to the ITER site constitutes a tremendous logistics and engineering challenge.
For more information (and images) about machine and plant assembly, please see these pages.
Main construction milestones:
2006 Signature of the ITER Agreement
2007-2009 Land clearing and levelling
2010-2014 Ground support structure and seismic foundations for the Tokamak
2014-2023 Construction of the Tokamak Complex (access for first assembly activities in 2018)
2010-2023 Construction of the ITER plant and auxiliary buildings for First Plasma
2020 Machine assembly begins
*The ITER cost and schedule baseline is currently under review.
Take a virtual tour of ITER construction here.