The ring fortress

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The ring fortress

ITER's steel-and-concrete bioshield has become the defining feature of Tokamak Complex construction. Two levels only remain to be poured (out of six).

The ITER bioshield, centre, and the Diagnostics Building, right, have both reached L2 level and work is underway on L3. Approximately 400 workers in two shifts are in involved in Tokamak Complex construction. (Click to view larger version...)
The ITER bioshield, centre, and the Diagnostics Building, right, have both reached L2 level and work is underway on L3. Approximately 400 workers in two shifts are in involved in Tokamak Complex construction.
It is a "ring fortress," with walls up to three-metres thick, that will completely surround the Tokamak and protect workers and the environment from the radiation generated by the fusion reaction.

Over the past year, we've seen the walls rise steadily. Six months ago, part of the first above ground level (L1) could be seen and work was starting on L2. Today L2 forms a complete ring, the first pours are underway for L3, and some rebar elements have already been installed for top level L4. 

Now, let's get inside the fortress and see what's happening there ...

A star will be born

The early morning sun shines through one of the penetrations of the ITER bioshield, symbolizing the "star" that will be born when deuterium-tritium operations begin in 2035. The newly installed gantry crane (yellow) and its circular track are visible on the right side of the image. The crane, with a lifting capacity of 12 tonnes, will move around the well, circling the white tower crane that will of course remain in place. To the left, the overhanging platform is a workshop that will be used for the installation of a temporary lid at the B1 level; as work on the upper levels of the bioshield progresses, the lid will protect personnel at the floor level constructing the cryostat support crown and the radial walls. But as a result, this particular full view of the assembly arena will soon no longer be possible.

13 July 2017

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