Building a workshop for ITER

Providing turnkey facilities for one of the world’s leading nuclear fusion research centres

Artelia has delivered a workshop within very tight deadlines for welding and assembling the superconducting magnets for the ITER tokamak, a gigantic experimental facility designed to reproduce nuclear fusion (the process at the heart of the energy of stars).

This turnkey building was designed to accommodate a range of industrial equipment (overhead travelling crane, welding stations, etc.) and to handle large, heavy packages.


Involving 35 countries, ITER is a project aimed at building the world’s largest tokamak, a machine designed to demonstrate that nuclear fusion can be used as an energy source to produce carbon-free electricity on a large scale. Initiated in 2001, construction of this gigantic experimental facility is currently under way at the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) site in Cadarache, near Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance in France.

Within the tight 6-month deadline, Artelia completed a turnkey structural steel workshop for the assembly and welding of the toroidal field coils (360-tonne superconducting magnets) for the ITER project. The building features above-ground foundations able to support a load of 20 t/m2. It is designed to house a range of large-scale equipment (4 welding stations, a 3 t overhead crane with a 20 m centre-to-centre distance, etc.).

The creation of this workshop follows another project carried out by Artelia for the ITER project. In 2014, Spretec, a Group subsidiary specialising in electromechanical engineering, contributed to the design and production of positioning units for the 9 components of the tokamak. This highly technical, 6-axis equipment makes it possible to handle parts weighing 650 t, in a constrained environment, with a precision of less than a millimetre.