Atkins signs contract for ITER

Atkins, as part of the Engage consortium, has signed one of the biggest engineering contracts in Europe with Fusion for Energy (F4E). The consortium has been awarded the architect engineer contract for the building and civil infrastructures for ITER, the world’s latest experimental nuclear fusion reactor in southern France. The Engage contract is valued at approximately 150 million Euros.

Martin Grant, managing director of Atkins’ energy business, said:

“ITER ranks as one of the most technically challenging projects the world has ever seen and it must be delivered to a time-critical schedule. This is a remarkable opportunity for Atkins to showcase its engineering and management skills on the world stage and, together with our partners we are now at the centre of a scheme that will pull engineers together across country, company and skills boundaries.

“As members of the Engage consortium we will be involved in all stages of the design and construction of the ITER complex, providing civil, structural and mechanical engineering, together with commercial management through our cost consultants, Faithful+Gould. Atkins has been involved in the nuclear sector for nearly half a century, and with over 1500 people with nuclear skills we are one of the most experienced and well-resourced consultancies in the UK. As nuclear power is set to play a more important role in the delivery of world energy supplies, Atkins is well positioned to provide engineering expertise to the sector.”

The Engage consortium is made up of Atkins, Assystem (France), Iosis (France) and Empresarios Agrupados (Spain).  As architect engineer, the consortium will assist F4E during the entire construction process, from detailed design to works completion for the ITER buildings as well as the site infrastructures and the distribution of the power supplies. At the peak of the design activity, more than 230 engineers and designers will work on the contract.  While most of the teams will work in F4E’s offices in Cadarache, southern France, some design work will also be carried out in the consortium members’ own offices.

Frank Briscoe, director of F4E, said: “F4E has full responsibility for the construction of the technical buildings necessary for the implementation of the ITER reactor. The signature of this contract is a big step towards ITER’s construction phase. This is a clear demonstration of Europe’s capacity to deliver, and involve industry, in the biggest energy experiment of our time.”

ITER is one of the world’s biggest and most complex engineering projects and is jointly funded by the USA, China, Europe, Russian Federation, India, Japan and Republic of Korea. The ambition is to deliver nuclear fusion on a commercial scale offering safe, limitless and environmentally responsible energy.