A 150 m2 mock-up has been completed on the ITER platform in parallel with the on-going propping and formworks activities of the second concrete slab, otherwise known as B2 slab in the ITER construction jargon. This upper base slab, which is 1.5 meters thick, will be supported by the 493 anti-seismic bearings and plinths.
Nicolas Vendeuvre, working for ENGAGE, the consortium managing the Architect Engineer contract for the ITER buildings, explains that ‘’this mock-up was initiated to test the methodology of the GTM Sud, member of the Vinci construction group, in order to draw lessons on our own design before carrying out the construction”.
The mock-up reflects the four most complex areas of the B2 slab in terms of reinforcement:
First of all, the complex and dense reinforcement, especially at the boundaries between ‘radial’ and ‘orthogonal’, requires an arrangement of re-bars to mirror the round shape of the future Tokamak machine.
Second, all interface aspects between the re-bars and the embedded plates need to be taken into consideration. The embedded plates are the interface between the civil works and the process supporting system. Almost 1,600 embedded plates are expected to be installed for the whole slab.
Nicolas Vendeuvre explains that mock-ups are commonly used in such complex projects in order to have a better view on what is going to be built. “It is like a training area that helps us to make a final choice before launching the actual construction. Basically, this kind of exercise helps the contractor to identify ways of improving the process and work procedures”, he adds.
Today, the mock-up is ready for new tests aiming to demonstrate that concrete will be well poured without undesirable pockets within such a dense reinforcement.