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Media Corner
15 January 2013

Landmark contract for the construction of the ITER Tokamak complex gets signed

Representatives of F4E and the VFR consortium at the contract signing ceremony

F4E celebrates a landmark achievement with the signature of one of its largest contracts in the area of the civil engineering works for the construction of the Tokamak complex, the building that will host the ITER Tokamak machine. Other buildings and amenities surrounding the Tokamak complex will also be delivered through this contract.
This is a key development for the ITER project and a milestone of significant importance for Europe, because it demonstrates F4E's commitment to this international collaboration in the field of energy and delivers on an instrumental chapter of its construction. The contract is expected to run for five and a half years and its budget is in the range of 300 million EUR. The VFR consortium, which consists of French companies VINCI Construction Grands Projets, Razel-Bec, Dodin Campenon Bernard, Campenon Bernard Sud-Est, GTM Sud and Chantiers Modernes Sud as well as Spanish company Ferrovial Agroman, boasts a proven track record in the field of construction and will deliver on a contract that is underpinned by impressive complexity, multiple interfaces and strict safety standards.

The ITER site in figures:
The size of the ITER platform is 42 hectares and Europe is the party responsible for the delivery of the 39 buildings that the ITER platform will host. Currently, the personnel directly involved in construction counts 200 people and by mid-2014 it is expected to reach 3,000 people. One of the key challenges will be to accommodate the needs of the rapidly growing workforce and to guarantee an optimal use of space to the different companies operating on the ground, in order to carry out the construction of all infrastructures in parallel and on time.

The scope and key figures of the Tokamak complex and surrounding buildings contract:
Through this contract the following infrastructure and amenities will be constructed: the Tokamak complex, consisting of the Tokamak, Diagnostics and Tritium buildings, the ITER Assembly hall, the radio frequency heating building, the areas for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, the cleaning facility and site services buildings, the cryoplant compressor and coldbox building, the control buildings, the fast discharge and switching network resistor building, and three bridges.

A total of 150, 000m³ of concrete will be used for all buildings out of which 110,000m³ will be used for the construction of the Tokamak complex. This is the equivalent of the concrete used for 3,000 houses of 120m². The building will be 80 metres high, 120 metres long and 80 metres wide. Its footprint will be bigger than that of a football stadium. The Tokamak building will rely on 493 plinths equipped with anti-seismic bearings, already in place, able to sustain the overall weight of the machine, which will be in the range of 23,000 tonnes almost three times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.

The Tokamak complex will host 100 heavy nuclear and confinement doors in total. The major doors will measure 4 metres high by 4 metres long and 35 cm thick. Their unit weight will be in the range of 40 tonnes and they will be remotely operated.

The works within the framework of the contract will require 7,500 tonnes of steel for the different structures and 16,000 tonnes of steel for reinforcement bars. The total number of embedded parts upon which the ITER equipment will be located, is expected to reach the impressive number of 60,000 units. Overall, it is estimated that 600 people will be involved in the works conducted in this contract. 

Background information:
F4E signs landmark contract for the construction of the Tokamak complex and surrounding building
MEMO: F4E signs landmark contract for the construction of the Tokamak complex and surrounding buildings

The Tokamak complex consists of the Diagnostics, Tokamak and Tritium buildings (left to right), © Engage