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News & Media

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  • Fusion world | Mobilizing for long-pulse operation

    One of the key operational challenges in the development of fusion energy is the achievement, simultaneously, of high fusion performance and long-pulse operatio [...]

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  • ITER science | What is burning plasma?

    The dream of fusion power depends first and foremost on a self-sustaining fusion reaction, with most of the heating power needed coming from within the reaction [...]

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  • Plasma modelling | New SOLPS-ITER code version launched

    The widely used SOLPS-ITER tool for plasma edge modelling has evolved since its launch in 2015. At recent workshop at KU Leuven in Belgium, European specialists [...]

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  • Open Doors Day | Accessing the very heart of ITER

    Small or tall, knowledgeable or neophyte, from near or far ... the 600 people who took part in ITER's latest Open Doors Day all departed with the sense that som [...]

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  • Local | A question and answer session

    Nuclear safety policy in France requires that a local information commission (Commission locale d'information, CLI) be established every time a nuclear installa [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Worksite

Changing views

Twelve years after construction work began on the ITER platform, the installation has acquired its near-final appearance. More than 85 percent of civil works are now completed and—of the 40 buildings and technical areas that the installation comprises—only a few remain to be built.

ITER's brain centre—the Control Building—should be completed by the end of the year. Operators will have direct access to the building from Headquarters, by taking the overpass visible on the left side of the image. (Click to view larger version...)
ITER's brain centre—the Control Building—should be completed by the end of the year. Operators will have direct access to the building from Headquarters, by taking the overpass visible on the left side of the image.
One of the first things that ITER Council delegates will notice when they meet on Wednesday 15 June, in person for the first time in two years, is how the view from the corridor along the Council chamber has changed. The floor-to-ceiling windows, which used to frame a spectacular view of the heat rejection system's cooling towers, now highlight the future "brain" of the ITER installation—a 3,500-square-metre, three-storey structure that will be home to the 60 to 80 operators, engineers and researchers tasked with "driving" the ITER Tokamak and its auxiliary systems.

From the roof of ITER Headquarters, the Tokamak Complex stands out as the major feature of the ITER construction site. After a pause while European construction teams concentrated on delivering the Tokamak Building crane gallery (centre), work is proceeding at level L4 of the Tritium Building (located to the left of the Tokamak Building). On the right side of the Complex, behind the red crane, infrastructure for neutral beam power supply is emerging. (Click to view larger version...)
From the roof of ITER Headquarters, the Tokamak Complex stands out as the major feature of the ITER construction site. After a pause while European construction teams concentrated on delivering the Tokamak Building crane gallery (centre), work is proceeding at level L4 of the Tritium Building (located to the left of the Tokamak Building). On the right side of the Complex, behind the red crane, infrastructure for neutral beam power supply is emerging.
For the ITER staff and contractors who happen to have an office facing in the same direction, change has been more progressive. For the moment, the works involved in the construction of the two buildings that will host the neutral beam power supply have been performed mostly underground. But on what used to be a large empty lot in front of the Tokamak Complex, structures are now beginning to appear. Ultimately, the familiar view of the crane hall's north facade will be partly hidden by the two buildings—one of them 25 metres tall.

Nondescript in appearance, they will accommodate an array of transformers, generators, rectifiers, inverters and other exotic electrical devices designed to feed 1 MeV ultra high voltage to the neutral injectors for durations of up to one hour—a unique electrical engineering feat.

The Tritium Building will accommodate the different systems and equipment that store, handle and recycle tritium fusion fuel. 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, or vacuum pumping systems. It is scheduled for completion in one year. (Click to view larger version...)
The Tritium Building will accommodate the different systems and equipment that store, handle and recycle tritium fusion fuel. 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, or vacuum pumping systems. It is scheduled for completion in one year.
Over the past few years, as the Tokamak Building crane hall was framed out and eventually delivered in March 2020, the construction of the adjacent Tritium Building seemed to be at a standstill. It was deliberate: 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. A year ago, work resumed and has been progressing ever since, with the aim of being completed in the summer of 2023.

The largest addition to the ITER platform however is yet to come. It will be in the form of a massive 200,000-cubic-metre, five-level structure sitting next to the Tokamak Complex—the Hot Cell Facility. Planning is in progress under the shared responsibility of the ITER Organization (requirements engineering, conceptual design, and the design, procurement, installation and commissioning of process equipment) and the European Domestic Agency (construction and commissioning of civil works and building services).



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