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News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Central solenoid | 1st delivery celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic

    Standing 18 metres tall at the very heart of the ITER Tokamak, the central solenoid will generate an intense magnetic field which, in turn, will induce an elect [...]

    Read more

  • Tooling | Radial beam fits just right

    When describing operations inside the ITER in the assembly theatre, one is invariably tempted to call up images from the realm of science fiction. How else to c [...]

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  • Fusion world | Curtain call for the COMPASS tokamak

    After 12 years of operation and 21,000 plasma shots, the Czech tokamak COMPASS ceased operation on 20 August 2021. The tokamak will now be disassembled to make [...]

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  • Engineering | US to deliver "tough" electronics to ITER

    ITER, a machine that will imitate the sun, will also mimic the sun's extreme environment: intense heat, strong magnetic fields and radiation. A team at US I [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | The lighthouse in the pit

    Like a lighthouse (without a beacon) the central column rises more than 20 metres above the floor of the assembly pit. The massive structure does not belong to [...]

    Read more

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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