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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Worksite postcards | Under fog and autumn light

    Due to its proximity to the Durance River and to the narrow gully spanned by the Bridge of Mirabeau, the area around ITER often experiences a peculiar meteorolo [...]

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  • Assembly Hall | Another massive paint job

    By the end of December, the massive painting job in the Assembly Hall will be complete and the building's floor will be as white and pristine as the landscape i [...]

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  • ITER India | Testing a neutral beam for diagnostics

    Every 23 seconds during fusion operation, a probe beam will penetrate deep into the core of the ITER plasma to aid in the detection of helium ash—one of fusion' [...]

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  • Welded attachments | Follow the laser projections

    How do you position 150,000 welded attachments on to a vacuum vessel the size of a house, each one needing to be accurately placed to less than a 4 mm target? [...]

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  • Visit | Our neighbour the Nobel

    In 2018, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Gérard Mourou for his work on ultra-short, extremely high-intensity laser pulses—the so-called 'chirped pulse [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Ten years ago preparation works began on the ITER site

On 29 January 2007, ten years ago almost to the day, preparation work began on the large stretch of national forest that was to host the ITER site.

Taken in the early spring of 2007, this aerial view of the ITER site (looking northeast) shows the vast expanse of land that has already been cleared. (Click to view larger version...)
Taken in the early spring of 2007, this aerial view of the ITER site (looking northeast) shows the vast expanse of land that has already been cleared.
Part of France's commitment to the ITER Project, the works were performed under the responsibility of Agence Iter France, an agency of the French Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA) that had been established three months earlier. France was to deliver a perfectly flat platform and some cleared areas to accommodate buildings, parking spaces, roads, etc. Of the 180 hectares made available by France, half were to be equipped, the other half left untouched.

To create a level, 42-hectare platform for the scientific installation, about half of the surface needed to be excavated and the other half filled. In total, over a period of less than two years, more than 3 million cubic metres of rock and soil were moved—equivalent in volume to the Cheops pyramid.

In the course of their investigations, archaeologists were to identify a small necropolis dating from the 5th to 7th century AD. (Click to view larger version...)
In the course of their investigations, archaeologists were to identify a small necropolis dating from the 5th to 7th century AD.
But before letting in the chainsaws, scrapers and earth-moving equipment, a few delicate and important tasks needed to be performed: scores of "remarkable trees" were identified for preservation; specific measures were implemented to protect some of the native species (beetles, bats, etc.) that made the forest their home and—in conformity with French regulations—archaeologists began digging in search of buried structures and artefacts.

By April, the area was cleared and ready for the spectacular levelling works that were finalized in the spring of 2009.

Click here to view a drone flyover of the ITER construction site, ten years after the early preparation works began.




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