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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 ...

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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

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Supporting crown

A midnight pour

It is close to midnight in the brightly lit basement of the ITER bioshield and, tonight, the first plot of the Tokamak "crown" is to be poured. The operation is of strategic importance: the crown will support the combined mass of the Tokamak and its encasing cryostat (23,000 tonnes) while transferring the forces and stresses generated during plasma operation to the ground.

There's a special magic to night-time operation on the ITER site... (Click to view larger version...)
There's a special magic to night-time operation on the ITER site...
Thousands of tonnes of concrete have already been poured into the different areas of the Tokamak Complex. But every operation is unique, due to differences in pouring techniques, concrete formulations, and even prevailing weather and temperature conditions.

Like in most challenging situations—and the pouring of the supporting crown is certainly one—the correct pouring of the different geometrical shapes of the structure was rehearsed and validated on a real-size mockup before being implemented.

It took four hours to pour approximately one hundred cubic metres of high-performance concrete into the first plot, which represents one-fourth of the total crown volume.

Another plot is scheduled to be poured in about three weeks.



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