As was the case for the first contract signed in 2018, both subsidiaries of SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, have joined forces via a consortium (represented by SPIE Nucléaire) in order to manage the multi-technical maintenance of all the buildings making up the ITER site, which includes nuclear, industrial and tertiary buildings.
The renewal of this contract demonstrates the success of the collaboration between the SPIE teams and the teams at the ITER Organization site, which has now been in place for almost five years. This new contract is being concluded for a period of four and a half years and can be renewed twice, each time for an additional term of one year.
From 1 December 2023, forty or so employees belonging to SPIE Nucléaire and SPIE Facilities will therefore be working from Monday to Saturday on the 70 buildings, which cover a total area of 140,000 m2, three times more than when the collaboration began in 2018.
Ahead of this operational phase, a launch phase began in September 2023 and will end with an “embarkation seminar”, scheduled for 29 November. In addition, a programme aimed at raising awareness of energy saving measures will be set up by the SPIE teams for the site’s 4,000 employees during the first year of the contract.
Highly varied skill sets for an ambitious project
The renewed contract with the ITER Organization is a continuation of the contract in place for the previous five years and includes the centralised technical management of the buildings’ automated systems, electrical installations, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, fluid networks, lifts, equipment associated with the structure of the buildings and fire safety. In addition, SPIE Nucléaire will perform new tasks, including in particular the maintenance of all of the nuclear doors belonging to the Tokamak(2), right by the reactor.
“We are delighted that we are able to continue to provide our expertise to one of the world’s most ambitious energy projects. The SPIE Nucléaire and SPIE Facilities teams have succeeded in meeting the specific and evolving needs of the ITER teams thanks to the complementary nature of their expertise,” explains Pierre Alexandre, ITER Operations/Maintenance Contract Manager at SPIE Nucléaire.
“The ITER Organization has reaffirmed its trust in SPIE thanks to our ability to overcome the technical and organisational challenges inherent in the maintenance of a constantly evolving site. The excellent adaptability of our teams presented a key advantage for this contract renewal,” adds Bastien Cardon, Sales Engineer at SPIE Facilities.
(1) The countries participating in the ITER programme are the 27 members of the European Union, together with China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States. Switzerland and the United Kingdom (before Brexit) previously participated in the programme through the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom); however, Switzerland now has the status of “non associated third country” in Euratom and is considered by Europe to be a non-participating member in the ITER programme for the duration of the negotiations. In September 2023, the United Kingdom announced that the country would no longer pursue an association agreement with Euratom, but that its nuclear fusion community would seek to maintain and enrich its international collaborations, including with ITER. The ITER Organization will continue to honour its existing contracts with Switzerland and the United Kingdom but will not enter into any new contracts.
The tokamak is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy of fusion. Inside a tokamak, the energy produced through the fusion of atoms is absorbed as heat in the walls of the vessel. Just like a conventional power station, a fusion power station will use this heat to produce steam and then electricity by way of turbines and generators.
This article is originally published on .spie.com