It’s Thursday 11 December at 6.30 am and the activity on the ITER construction site has reached its peak. It is one of these eagerly anticipated moments in the history of the project where all eyes are focused on the tracks approaching the Tokamak complex. The F4E engineers and the GTM construction workforces are tense and try to remain concentrated because today is the day that the first plot of the concrete for the second concrete slab of the Tokamak complex will be poured. This 1.5 metres thick slab is going to support the 23,000 tonnes Tokamak machine. A new chapter is about to begin on the ITER construction site.
“This milestone represents for us the achievement of five years of solid work. It represents preparatory works, contract awards, design activities, construction preparation, foundations and site preparation works. We have come a long way. F4E is now ready to build” explained Laurent Schmieder, F4E’s Head of Buildings, Constriction and Power Supplies.
The Tokamak complex is made of three buildings: the Diagnostics building, the Tokamak building that will host the machine and the Tritium building. This was the first plot out of the 15 that will be poured over the next six months to complete the slab. Twelve hours were needed to pour 820 m3 of concrete in total starting with the Diagnostics building.
“The coming years will be challenging because of our tight schedule and high technical requirements. Safety and nuclear security remain our two main commitments and priorities”, concluded Laurent Schmieder.