A Machine Manufactured in 35 Countries

  • Michel ClaessensEmail author


The ITER project’s founding fathers decided to divide the tokamak’s manufacture among the 35 participating countries. A total of 1 million components comprising 10 million pieces are converging on Cadarache in France. In this chapter we will look at how all these parts interconnect in assembly. This is another logistical challenge with thousands of annual deliveries and millions of coded products stored in facilities both on-site and off-site. Something that couldn’t be done without a sophisticated materials management system. ITER will be the world’s largest technology puzzle! On June 27, 2016 the ITER Organization signed a major contract to provide assistance for the assembly of the tokamak and related systems. Under this contract, worth EUR174 million, a consortium of three companies (from the United Kingdom, France, and Korea) will oversee and coordinate assembly activities, whether carried out by the ITER Organization or by subcontractors of the Domestic Agencies of the ITER members. The consortium will work with the ITER Organization to plan, manage, and supervise the work on-site. In particular, the consortium is tasked with ensuring that all the different work crews are able to work as efficiently as possible in handling the million components, drawings, documents, and facilities involved in constructing the ITER tokamak and plant systems to the highest quality, on time, and within cost. Transport will be yet another challenge since around 10,000 shipments of many kinds (road, rail, inland waterways, maritime, and air) will bring ITER components to the site. Of these shipments 270 heavy exceptional loads are foreseen to deliver the very large components of ITER. They will use a huge 352-wheeled platform (46 m long and 9 m wide) that will take at least three nights to cover the 104-km itinerary from the Mediterranean Sea to Cadarache. The nerve center of all these transport operations will be located near Marseille where a performant control room with state-of-the-art technology will allow technical staff to track the movements of every component shipped by the ITER Domestic Agencies to the ITER site.


ITER Assembly Transport Logistics 


  1. 1.
    GCR Staff (2018) Energy of stars: €19bn fusion reactor “to be in place by 2021.” Global Construction Review.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European CommissionBruxellesBelgium

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