What's happening behind the hill?
As work proceeds behind the hill on the east side of the worksite, the feeling is one of déjà vu: things look strangely familiar, as if time had rolled back to the years 2007-2008 when the ITER platform was being levelled and readied for construction.
The two-hectare logistics platform will host the 9,000 m2 warehouse and an outdoor storage area. It is located on a stretch of land that was transferred from CEA to the ITER Organization earlier this year.
And indeed it is another platform that is taking shape, although on a much smaller scale. One that will support the 9,000 m² warehouse and outdoor holding area where average-size components will be stored, pending their integration into the machine.
Whereas the ITER platform had to be levelled, the new logistics platform behind the hill has to be compacted, as it is formed from accumulated backfill (up to 30 metres in depth) from the ITER construction site.
Compacting is a time-consuming and spectacular operation, achieved by repeatedly dropping, every 10 square metres or so, an 18-tonne steel mass from a height of 12 metres. As a consequence, the level of the platform will eventually be lowered by one to two metres.
Compacting is achieved by repeatedly dropping an 18-ton steel mass from a height of 12 metres.
Compacting operations will take about one month. Once finalized, soil pressure tests will be performed to confirm that the two-hectare platform presents the required bearing capacity to support the warehouse and outside storage area.
By the end of 2015, a climate controlled, steel-structure warehouse will be in place for component storage. Half of its surface will be used for mass storage; the other half will be equipped with racks (up to eight metres high) for pallet storage.
Components will reach the warehouse by way of the heavy-haul road build along the edge of the ITER site, where they will be unpacked, stored, and sometimes pre-assembled within the warehouse.
The logistics platform is part of a ten-hectare parcel of land that was transferred from the CEA to the ITER Organization earlier this year. Two hectares will be used by the European Domestic Agency to dispose of some 200,000 m3 of soil and rock resulting from the ongoing construction work on the ITER platform.
The warehouse is a 150-metre long, 60-metre wide, 12-metre high conventional building that will accommodate non-HEL (Highly Exceptional Load) components. Compacting work began last week and will continue for approximately one month.
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