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  • Manufacturing | Completion of the first vacuum vessel gravity support

    The factory acceptance test on the first ITER vacuum vessel gravity support has been successfully completed at Haneul Engineering in Gunsan, Korea. Under the 8, [...]

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  • Technology | Hail showers in ASDEX Upgrade for ITER disruption mitigation

    Just before the 2021 Christmas holiday break, the team at the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak successfully fired frozen deuterium pellet fragments into a plasma as part o [...]

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  • Image of the week | Like a Meccano under the Christmas tree

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  • Poloidal field coils | 12 months saved on number two

    Whatever their size or position, the role of the ITER poloidal field coils is to shape and stabilize the plasma inside the vacuum vessel. However, as the plasma [...]

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  • Divertor dome | Russia delivers a full-scale prototype

    A multiyear qualification program in Russia has concluded with the successful manufacturing and testing of a full-scale divertor dome prototype at the Efremov I [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Tritium Building

Work resumes

The energy-producing plasmas in ITER will be fuelled in equal measure by the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. Deuterium is a stable element that industry has produced routinely since the 1940s; tritium on the other hand is rare, expensive and slightly radioactive and, for all these reasons, must be treated with extreme care and precaution. In the ITER installation, a whole building will accommodate the different systems and equipment that store, handle and recycle this precious element.

Activity has now resumed at level L2 of the Tritium Building. (Click to view larger version...)
Activity has now resumed at level L2 of the Tritium Building.


In late 2018, following ITER Council approval of the updated project schedule and a staged approach to full power operation, major civil works in the Tritium Building were put on hold in order to focus the workforce on the Tokamak and Diagnostics Buildings.

While the Tokamak Building was being readied for machine assembly and plant equipment was being installed in the Diagnostics Building, work was frozen at the Tritium Building at level 1 (L1). Activity has now resumed and the four levels that remain to be erected (L2 through L5) should be completed in the spring of 2023.

Most of the functions of the Tritium Building are directly linked to the full-power operation of the ITER Tokamak and, as such, will not be needed before 2035. However, the building also accommodates equipment that must be operational for First Plasma, such as the gas injection system that will feed hydrogen to the vacuum vessel, or components that are part of the HVAC, cooling system, vacuum pumping systems.

The civil work challenges for the Tritium Building are similar to those of the Tokamak Building, with areas where steel reinforcement will be exceptionally dense. (Click to view larger version...)
The civil work challenges for the Tritium Building are similar to those of the Tokamak Building, with areas where steel reinforcement will be exceptionally dense.
Also, although they will not be needed during the first phases of machine operation, several "captive" components such as manifold segments for the neutral beam injection or disruption mitigation systems must be installed before construction progresses.

The civil work challenges for the Tritium Building are similar to those of the Tokamak Building, with areas where steel reinforcement will be exceptionally dense. The difference is in the interior design: the Tritium Building is a house of many rooms (300 in total), which means there will be many inside walls to build and close to 5,000 cubic metres of concrete to pour.



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