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Culham Science Park RACE B1

July 10, 2020

About the site from the wiki.


The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) is the UK's national laboratory for fusion research. It is located at the Culham Science Centre, near Culham, Oxfordshire, and is the site of the Joint European Torus (JET), Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST) and the now closed Small Tight Aspect Ratio Tokamak (START).

Formerly known as UKAEA Culham, the laboratory was renamed in October 2009 as part of organisational changes at its parent body, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).[1]

Since 2016, the director has been Professor Ian Chapman, and the centre has been engaged in work towards the final detailed design of ITER as well as preparatory work in support of DEMO.

In 2014 it was announced the centre would house the new RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments). We are now building the 1st extension to the RACE building.



Our works include removal of existing yard slabs, drainage diversion of both SW and FW. FW is roughly 3m deep so have made use of our 22T machine and a drag box system which takes away the need for temporary works design.


We commenced on site Monday 18th November setting up the site perimeter fencing and paths and will hopefully complete our Phase 1 works early March.


Site Setup 


 Removal of existing concrete slabs.


The apron to the existing building was concrete roughly 200-250mm thick with light reinforcement. After breaking up, all the materials were sent for recycling by SCB, Clarkes & Collards.



Removal of concrete ramps.


After gently breaking the ramps away from the existing build all materials as above were sent off for recycling.



CBR Test trial pits


Test pits were dug and plate tests were carried out to 150kn to obtain the ground conditions. Fortunately results were good and allowed us to reduce the overall foundation depth by 1.0m.


Location of old fuel tanks.


Along the route of the new diversion we discovered this obstruction which had been backfilled with rubble. Placing drainage through this area would require removal of the area and backfilling with good hardcore compacted in layers. It was decided the risk and costs too high so the drainage diversion was pushed out to avoid this location entirley.



Deep drainage diversion


The existing pipe was exposed to allow the invert to be taken to produce the final design. The existing pipe was undermined and a new concrete base constructed to land the rings on. The stub for the new diversion was set in place in preparation for the final connection once the rest of the run is complete.


 Deep drainage diversion continued...

 FW manholes


SW Manholes



 Foundations going in at last after our long break.