Work on the floor slab of the central pit, future location of the ITER fusion reactor.

Application of coatings on the Tokamak reactor building for the ITER international project

Since June 2019, GDES has been participating in the construction of the platform buildings of the ITER project. We have been tasked with applying specific coatings on the building under construction where the machine will be located and its annex buildings: Tokamak, Diagnostic and Tritium.

The services of GDES Group were engaged by FUSION FOR ENERGY (F4E), the EU body that manages the EU’s contribution to the ITER project and the construction of the platform buildings. This service will be performed over the next 3 years and will involve up to 40 workers from our French subsidiary, which specialises in surface treatments, industrial paints and coatings. The ITER project (“the way” in Latin) is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world. The facilities are located in Cadarache, in southern France, and 35 countries are collaborating to build the world’s first fusion reactor on an industrial scale to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.

Our contribution to the construction of its main buildings, both the building that will house the fusion reactor and the buildings for achieving deuterium-tritium plasma, is a project of major budgetary, technical and strategic value in the field of research and technological development.

The mission of GDES in this project is to apply different specific coatings to 73,600 m2of the interior of the buildings, with an option to extend the total area to approximately 120,000 m2.

Estimated scope of the project.

To summarise the different technical coating solutions applied by GDES in this project, we have classified the coating systems that are currently in use and described the control methods that guarantee their correct application.

The article classifies these systems according to the technical requirements of each room or cubicle in the facilities, distinguishing between the seven groups shown below:

  • Standard coating system with no requirement for decontamination.
  • Standard coating system with requirement for decontamination.
  • Dust-proof and anti-carbonation coating system.
  • Coating system with requirements on flatness, high chemical resistance and suitable for heavy traffic.
  • Coating systems with requirements of leaktightness and resistance to high irradiation.
  • Coating system with electrostatic conductivity requirements.
  • Coating system with requirement of resistance to mineral oils.
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