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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • ITER Design Handbook | Preserving the vital legacy of ITER

    The contributions that ITER is making to fusion physics and engineering—through decades of decisions and implementation—are delivering insights to the fusion co [...]

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  • Electron cyclotron heating | Aligning technology and physics

    ITER, like other fusion devices, will rely on a mix of external heating technologies to bring the plasma to the temperature necessary for fusion. At a five-day [...]

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  • Poloidal field magnets | The last ring

    As the massive ring-shaped coil inched its way from the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility, where it was manufactured, to the storage facility nearby where i [...]

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  • Heat rejection | White "smoke" brings good news

    Like a plume of white smoke rising from a cardinals' conclave to announce the election of a new pope, the tenuous vapour coming from one of the ITER cooling cel [...]

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  • WEC 2024 | Energy on centre stage

    The global players in the energy sector convened in Rotterdam last week for the 26th edition of the World Energy Congress (WEC). The venue was well chosen, wit [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Image of week

Architectural challenges and solutions

An installation as massive as ITER, with a main complex rising 60 metres above ground and construction spreading over 42 hectares, could be a terrible eyesore and an offense to the beauty of its rural surroundings.

Photo EJF Riche - ITER Organization (Click to view larger version...)
Photo EJF Riche - ITER Organization
On the contrary, at ITER—thanks to the effort that went into its design and architecture—the scientific installation adds a spectacular touch to the landscape.

The architects at the Parisian firm ENIA, who planned the exterior aspect of the ITER buildings, wanted them to blend into the natural environment and at the same time express the highly technical nature of the research work being performed within.

The solution they chose, a cladding that alternates mirror-like stainless steel panels and grey-lacquered metal stripes, has proved efficient: on certain days, under certain light conditions, the buildings seem to disappear as they reflect the shades and colours of the changing skies.

In designing ITER Headquarters, Rudy Ricciotti—the award-winning architect of the Mucem museum in Marseille—and his local partner, Laurent Bonhomme, faced a different challenge: combining the functional requirements of a large office building with the daring architectural gesture that ITER deserved.

In their vision, the five-storey, 165-metre-long construction situated slightly below the ITER construction platform should be a "visual pedestal [...] a horizontal monolith responding to the exuberant verticality of the Tokamak Complex."

Here too, the architects succeeded. As is obvious in this picture, part of our most recent drone survey, architecture has bestowed a unique and unexpected beauty on ITER.



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