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Media Corner
25 August 2011

Concrete results taking further shape

Work on the ITER platform is progressing: the lower basemat of the complex is under way and the supporting plinths are being constructed and put in place.

Construction activity on the ITER platform is continuing full-speed ahead. Following the pouring of concrete for the lower basemat of the Tokamak complex, the parallel activity of establishing the plinths which will act as a support for the upper basemat has begun. The foundation of each of these 493 plinths consists of a reinforcing steel structure which is then further strengthened by pouring 2.5 m3 concrete per plinth, thus forming a column. When completed, each plinth will measure 1.3 metres in length and width respectively and 1.5 metres in height, while weighing an impressive 6.4 tonnes. Each day, on average 5 plinths are completed and placed in position on the completed part of the lower basemat. The area to fill with the 493 plinths is the equivalent to the size of a football pitch, so work is set to carry on until the end of this year.

Following completion of the lower basemat and plinths, anti-seismic bearings will be installed on top of each plinth in order to help the buildings that will rest on them maintain their structure in case of earthquakes. Measuring 1 x 1 x 0.20 m2, these isolator bearings aim to reduce the earthquake forces in the structure of the Tokamak Complex as “shock absorbers”. The installation of the bearings on top of the plinths will start in mid-September and will take around nine months. After that, work will then commence on constructing the second basemat – the actual “lowest floor” of the Tokamak complex.

The plinth reinforced steel structure before concrete is added around it. The plinth, after being formed into a concrete column.