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  • FEC 2020 | E-conference opens, participation never higher

    The 28th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC) is off to an auspicious start. Open to the public for the first time thanks to the technical possibilities of an al [...]

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  • Vacuum vessel in Europe | Fitting the pieces virtually

    A 'virtual fit' tool developed by the European Domestic Agency is helping the vacuum vessel manufacturing team anticipate the challenge of final assembly—the mo [...]

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  • Gas injection system | Last manifolds completed in China

    Contractors to the Chinese Domestic Agency have completed an important part of the gas injection system—the distribution manifolds that carry gas species from t [...]

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  • Magnets | Seventh vertical coil reaches ITER

    Seven toroidal field coils have reached ITER in the past year. The latest, TF3 from Europe, passed through the ITER gates on Friday 3 May. The European and Japa [...]

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  • Tritium Building | Work resumes

    The energy-producing plasmas in ITER will be fuelled in equal measure by the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. Deuterium is a stable element that industr [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

In the Tokamak's subterranean world



It's a world that evokes underground quarries, a cathedral carved out of rock, a pyramid's secret chamber... The space between the lower basement slab (B2) and the next-level slab (B1) of the Tokamak Complex is punctuated by 18 giant columns that will rise 30 metres when completed and provide structural support to the Tokamak Building.

In this cavernous space, thousands of embedded plates stud the ceiling, floor and walls like geometric constellations—these will be used to anchor the equipment that must be installed at every level of the building.

The thick walls between the massive columns will house pipe chases, and are made of extra-dense concrete that is formulated with magnetite gravel sourced in Swedish Lapland.

The only sunlight that enters this subterranean realm comes from regular double openings in the bioshield wall, reserved for the magnet feeders that will relay electrical power and cryogens to the ITER magnets.

What is today a vast open space around the Tokamak assembly arena will one day be occupied by the dense piping of the cooling water system primary circuit. Gone will be the cathedral-like space ... replaced by a forest of steel pipes and pumps.


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