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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Tokamak cooling system | Final design achieved

    To remove the heat from the components closest to the plasma, the tokamak cooling water system will rely on over 36 kilometres of nuclear-grade piping and fitti [...]

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  • Worksite progress | Spot the differences

    Let's play the "spot the differences" game between these two general views of the ITER site, one taken last Thursday 18 January, the other three month [...]

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  • Inventions | Where have all the neutrons gone?

    It is not unusual in the course of a work day at the world's largest scientific experiment to rely on creativity to resolve the challenge at hand. But less comm [...]

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  • Neutral beam test facility | Europe delivers first-of-a-kind equipment

    Tullio Bonicelli, in charge of Europe's contributions to the ITER neutral beam heating system, calls them "beyond state-of-the-art components." The hi [...]

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  • Vacuum vessel | First segment completed in Korea

    The technically challenging fabrication of the ITER vacuum vessel is progressing in Korea, where Hyundai Heavy Industries has completed the first poloidal segme [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

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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