10 years ago in Newsline
White, silent and immobile
Ten years ago, in mid-January 2010, heavy snow fell on Provence and the white blanket that settled on the ITER platform accentuated its main feature: utter emptiness.
Ten years, almost to the day, have passed since this panoramic picture of the ITER platform was taken. In ten years, the place changed from barren steppe to massive industrial infrastructure and bustling small town.
Following three years of clearing and levelling
under the responsibility of Agence Iter France, the platform was ready but had not yet been invested by construction workers. On the clear day this panoramic picture was taken, everything seemed to be silent and immobile.
A brown trace to the left of the image marks the shallow depression that would later become home to the Tokamak Complex.
On the opposite side of the panorama, behind a hedge of firs at the foot of the platform, a lone office building is visible: a little more than a year earlier, approximately 400 ITER staff members had moved
from portacabins inside the CEA enclosure into this prefabricated construction which served as temporary headquarters until November 2012.
Although there is nothing much to see on the ITER platform, a viewpoint with a site map is already available for visitors. One of the visitors that ITER welcomed that same week this picture was taken was none other than His Serene Highness Prince Albert II
of Monaco, the ruler of the 180-hectare Mediterranean principality (comparable in surface to the ITER site).
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