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  • Fuelling fusion | The magic cocktail of deuterium and tritium

    Nuclear fusion in stars is easy: it just happens, because the immense gravity of a star easily overcomes the resistance of nuclei to come together and fuse. [...]

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  • 360° image of the week | The cryoplant

    Cryogenics play a central role in the ITER Tokamak: the machine's superconducting magnets (10,000 tonnes in total), the vacuum pumps, thermal shields and so [...]

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  • Central solenoid assembly | First sequences underway

    What does it take to assemble the magnet at the heart of ITER? Heavy lifting, unerring accuracy, and a human touch. The central solenoid will be assembled from [...]

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  • Assembly | The eyes of ITER

    Supervisors ensure compliance and completion as machine and plant assembly forges ahead. In Greek mythology, Argus was considered an ideal guardian because his [...]

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  • Component repairs | Removing, displacing and disassembling

    A good repair job starts with a cleared workbench, the right tools on hand and a strong vise. This axiom, true for odd jobs in a home workshop, is also true for [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Tokamak building

The undressing of the bioshield

More than two years ago in October 2015, concrete pouring began for one of the most striking structures of the entire construction site: the ITER bioshield, a massive cylindrical fortress that surrounds the machine and protects workers and the environment from the radiation generated by fusion reactions.

The massive structure of the bioshield—an emblem of the ITER Project—is now bare and its revealed anatomy helps us to better understand its function. (Click to view larger version...)
The massive structure of the bioshield—an emblem of the ITER Project—is now bare and its revealed anatomy helps us to better understand its function.
As construction progressed, the nest-like structure became the defining feature of Tokamak Complex construction and an icon for the project as a whole. Pictures of the bioshield—taken from above in the slanted late evening light by drone or from a crane—have been a favourite of the media for the past two years.

Until last week, however, what was visible of the bioshield was mostly ... the formwork that surrounded it—white and red moulds, scaffolding and platforms pressing against grey concrete and brown rebar.

As formwork was removed from the bioshield proper, new moulds and scaffolding were being erected on the north side of the structure. They are for the reinforced wall that will support the 10-metre-high ''vault'' that will accommodate equipment for the Tokamak's cooling water system (TCWS). (Click to view larger version...)
As formwork was removed from the bioshield proper, new moulds and scaffolding were being erected on the north side of the structure. They are for the reinforced wall that will support the 10-metre-high ''vault'' that will accommodate equipment for the Tokamak's cooling water system (TCWS).
Now, the bioshield is fully formed and this equipment is not needed anymore. The structure is bare and its anatomy, now revealed, helps us better understand its function—how, for instance, penetrations of all sizes and shapes will allow neutral beam injectors, diagnostic systems and remote handling machinery to reach the heart of the machine.

Covered or naked, the fortress remains imposing—a renewed emblem for a unique project.


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