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  • Tokamak assembly | Preparing for the Big Lift

    The distance was short but the challenge daunting: on Thursday last week, the first section of the plasma chamber was lifted 50 centimetres above its suppor [...]

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  • Image of the week | 13th toroidal field coil arrives from Europe

    The toroidal field coil procurement effort has been one of the longest of the ITER program, initiated by Procurement Arrangements signed in 2007 and 2008. Manuf [...]

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  • Diagnostics | Final Procurement Arrangement signed

    ITER Diagnostics reached an important milestone in December 2021 when it concluded the last Procurement Arrangement of the diagnostics program. After signing a [...]

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  • On site | A quick visit to the Control Building

    Work is progressing on the ITER Control Building, ergonomically designed for the 60 to 80 operators, engineers and researchers who will call it home.  [...]

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  • Video | Travel with us to ... and through ... ITER

    The latest drone video from the ITER Organization takes you deep inside the work underway in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance to build the world's largest tokamak. ITER i [...]

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Of Interest

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From an ultralight's perspective

Lost in the wild: the 42-hectare ITER platform from an altitude of 500 metres. To the right: CEA-Cadarache; to the left, Mount Petit and Mount Gros Bessillon (~ alt. 800 m). © MatthieuCOLIN.com / ITER Organization (Click to view larger version...)
Lost in the wild: the 42-hectare ITER platform from an altitude of 500 metres. To the right: CEA-Cadarache; to the left, Mount Petit and Mount Gros Bessillon (~ alt. 800 m). © MatthieuCOLIN.com / ITER Organization
The last time an aerial photo survey was conducted of the ITER site, in September 2011*, the lower basemat had yet to be poured in the Tokamak Seismic Pit; cladding and roofing operations were underway on the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility; and windows were being installed at ITER Headquarters.

A year and a half later, a four-hectare electrical switchyard is in place and 500 people work from the completed Headquarters building. Preparatory works have just begun for the Tokamak Complex basemat (the B2 slab) that will rest atop the Seismic Pit's 493 concrete columns (plinths) and pads.

Whereas in 2011, vast expanses of barren land still existed between the different work areas on the platform, this new series of photographs, taken two weeks ago, shows a much different landscape: mounds of earth, trenches, and material and vehicle storage areas now occupy most of the available space between the buildings.

In the Seismic Pit, the radial pattern of the plinths is clearly visible from the air. At a short distance from the platform, surrounded by trees, the rubble storage area. © MatthieuCOLIN.com / ITER Organization (Click to view larger version...)
In the Seismic Pit, the radial pattern of the plinths is clearly visible from the air. At a short distance from the platform, surrounded by trees, the rubble storage area. © MatthieuCOLIN.com / ITER Organization
In the Seismic Pit, the radial pattern of the plinths is clearly visible from the air. Nearby, the completed sections of the Assembly Building foundation slab reflect the mid-afternoon winter sun. From the Headquarters building, long shadows extend almost all the way to the deserted parking lot (the photograph was taken on a Saturday). On the "green" rooftops of the Access Control Building, the Amphitheatre and the Medical Building, the sedum plants wear their winter colour—they will turn from red to green in the summer and from green to yellow in the fall.

Photographer Matthieu Colin carried out the latest ITER aerial campaign from an ultralight aircraft flying at an altitude of 500-900 metres. (The September 2011 photographs had been taken from a helium-filled balloon hovering at 70-100 metres above ground.)

* The December 2012 pictures that appear in our web site's photo Gallery were taken from a cellular radio tower 40-metre high.
 
Click here to view more aerial photographs of the ITER site.


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