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Of Interest

See archived entries

Image of the week

Time to celebrate

It is traditional, in the world of construction, to celebrate the completion of a house or building by placing a leafy branch on its roof or topmost beam. The practice—known as "topping out"—originated in ancient Scandinavia, and was meant to appease the spirits who had been disturbed by the construction works.

For ordinary constructions, a leafy branch is enough to symbolize the completion of civil work. For the Tokamak Building, which will host the ITER machine, something bigger and more spectacular—a full-grown olive tree—was required. The tree will be replanted on site. (Click to view larger version...)
For ordinary constructions, a leafy branch is enough to symbolize the completion of civil work. For the Tokamak Building, which will host the ITER machine, something bigger and more spectacular—a full-grown olive tree—was required. The tree will be replanted on site.
ITER being ITER, a simple leafy branch would not have been enough. The size of the Tokamak Building and the amount of work that went into its construction required something bigger and more spectacular. As a consequence, an entire olive tree (as ITER is located in Provence) was lifted to the uppermost level of the building to symbolize its completion.

According to the European Domestic Agency, which is responsible for the construction of all the buildings of the ITER installation, 850 workers devoted six million work hours to the construction of the building that will house the ITER Tokamak. Now that concrete works have been finalized, a small team is presently busy erecting the steel structure that will top the edifice and allow for the creation of the crane hall above the assembly pit.

On Wednesday 13 November, the team posed for this group picture with ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot; Buildings Infrastructure Project Leader for the European Domestic Agency, Laurent Schmieder; and Vinci Project Director Fabrice Lemaire.


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