The concrete floor slab which will host the world’s biggest nuclear fusion machine has been constructed.
The ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project is being constructed at the Cadarache facility in the south of France.
Work started on the concrete base mat in August 2010 and the project has cost £78M.
It will be able to support more than 400,000t of buildings, infrastructure and equipment, including the ITER machine weighing 23,000t.
The slab has a surface area of 9,600 sq m and a thickness of 1.5m of reinforced concrete. The slab has used 14,000 cu m of concrete, and 3,600t of steel rebar.
The construction has been carried out by a group of companies led by GTM SUD and under the supervision of European Union organisation F4E, plus the ENGAGE consortium consisting of Assystem, Atkins, Empresarios Agrupados and Egis.
Professor Henrik Bindslev, Director of Fusion for Energy (F4E), explained: “The base mat is the test bed of the biggest international collaboration in the field of energy. It’s where the scientific work and industrial know-how will come together and be deployed to seize the power of fusion energy.”
With the ITER basemat now completed, the construction of the complex that will house the core buildings of the machine has started. The VFR consortium, consisting of Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Ferrovial Agroman, Razel-Bec, Dodin Campenon Bernard, Campenon Bernard Sud-Est, GTM Sud and Chantiers Modernes Sud, is responsible for carrying out the works.