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On the move

-Sabina Griffith

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Within the past year the number of ITER staff has risen from about 30 to 204 (158 professionals, 46 support staff on 18 December 2007) coming from 38 nations, plus support and temporary staff, subcontractors, consultants and visiting researchers. By spring 2008, this number will have increased to more than 300.

As the recruitment continues, many offices are becoming rather crowded so the question of when the new office buildings are going to be built is a hot issue. Currently, three new temporary buildings are being constructed on CEA ground next to the construction site, providing additional space for 146 personnel. The next step is to build more temporary office space on the ITER construction site by mid 2008 with a capacity for 300 people, with the option of a second building in 2009 hosting another 300 people. The permanent office buildings on site are expected to be completed in 2010.

Meanwhile the architectural competition for the future ITER building complex has been decided: The competition was won by the French architects Ricciotti-Bonhomme partners of the Engineering offices Trouvin-CAP Engelec (Link: Press Release). The funding of the complex is shared by France and the European Commission. The building complex will cover 22,340m2 including offices, an amphitheatre for 500 people, a visitors' centre, a medical centre, a staff restaurant, a reception building and a car park for 1000 vehicles. Construction is due to start on the ITER site at the beginning of 2008.

Also in spring 2008 the platform levelling works for the nuclear buildings will commence. The area covers 35 hectares. Two million cubic metres of soil will have to be moved, but great care will be taken to make efficient reuse of the material to limit transport on the public roads. The work will last ten months.


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