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  • Inside the pit | From dizzying volume to cramped environment

    There was a time when the assembly pit felt like a huge arena, with toy-like tools scattered on the floor and workers reduced to Playmobil-size figures. Progres [...]

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  • Fusion world | UKAEA's CHIMERA set to transform fusion component testing

    Construction of a unique testing machine for fusion components is underway at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).  The machine, known as CHIMERA (or Co [...]

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  • Award | A 30-year friendship with China

    Some thirty years ago, HT-7, China's first superconducting tokamak, was entering operation and experiencing some issues with its ion cyclotron resonance (ICRH) [...]

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  • Tokamak assembly | Building the feeders, segment by segment

    Through an opening in the Tritium Building just large enough to admit the 11-metre-long components, two magnet feeder segments were introduced this month into t [...]

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  • Fusion world | Highest French distinction for former ITER Director-General

    Established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte, then the First Consul of the young French Republic, the French Legion of Honour (Légion d'honneur) is the highest of [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Pouring the protective circle

Since construction of the ground support structure for the Tokamak Complex began in 2010, huge volumes of concrete have been poured to form the edifice's seismic foundations, retaining walls, and basemat. Since November 2014 work has been underway on the Complex's basement-level walls and pillars.

In the early hours of Wednesday, 21 October, workers poured the first 200° segment of the bioshield, in an all-day operation that took some 15 hours to complete. (Click to view larger version...)
In the early hours of Wednesday, 21 October, workers poured the first 200° segment of the bioshield, in an all-day operation that took some 15 hours to complete.
But concrete pouring in a nuclear building is never routine, with each pour day marking the end of months of calculations, modellization and painstaking preparation.

For the ITER bioshield—the 3.2-metre-thick "ring fortress" surrounding the machine, whose role is to protect workers and the environment from the radiation generated by the fusion reaction—preparations have been particularly complex. Realizing a "perfect pour" for such a massive and strategic structure is so important that it was practised in a specially constructed full-scale mockup on the platform.

The density of the lattice of steel reinforcement makes the use of traditional concrete vibrators—used to encourage the concrete to reach every recess—impractical. As a consequence, an extra-fluid, self-compacting concrete was selected by the contractors and trialled in the on-site mockup.

At the end of the day 600 m³ of concrete were in place (centre circle), filling over half of the bioshield's circumference. (Click to view larger version...)
At the end of the day 600 m³ of concrete were in place (centre circle), filling over half of the bioshield's circumference.
The conclusive results allowed pouring operations to begin. In the early hours of Wednesday, 21 October, workers poured the first 200° segment of the bioshield, in an all-day operation that took some 15 hours to complete.

As dusk settled on the ITER site 600 m³ of concrete were in place, filling over half of the bioshield's circumference. The pouring of the remaining 160° segment is scheduled in January 2016.


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