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  • Cryoplant | Filled from floor to ceiling

    The ITER cryoplant used to be a vast echoey chamber with 5,400 m² of interior space divided into two areas; now, it is filled from floor to ceiling with industr [...]

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  • Cryostat | Adjusting, welding, testing ...

    The assembly of the ITER cryostat—the stainless steel "thermos" that insulates the ultra-cold superconducting magnets from the environment—is progress [...]

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  • Tokamak Building | Full steam ahead

    In this central arena of the construction site, construction teams are active three shifts a day—two full work shifts and a third, at night, dedicated to moving [...]

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  • Poloidal field coils | Turning tables and hot resin

    One of only two manufacturing facilities located on the ITER site, the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility was constructed by Europe to house the winding, imp [...]

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  • Assembly Hall | One giant standing

    Two identical handling tools in the Assembly Hall will play a critical role in preparing ITER's nine vacuum vessel sectors for their final journey: transport by [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Tokamak building

The undressing of the bioshield

R.A.

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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