Amec Foster Wheeler to lead study into dismantling of ITER fusion machine

·             Key role in end-of-life planning for the world’s largest energy experiment

·             One of five new awards at ITER covering concept design, engineering and technical specifications


Amec Foster Wheeler announces today that it has been awarded a contract by the ITER organisation to lead a consortium to examine the best way to decommission the world’s largest nuclear fusion experiment.

The work, which will take about 12 months, involves a concept-level study of the duration, sequencing and cost for dismantling the ITER machine, once it comes to the end of its life in 2042, within a context of recently updated French nuclear regulatory requirements.

Amec Foster Wheeler, with EAI Ingénierie and NUKEM Technologies Engineering Services, will apply their international nuclear decommissioning experience to the design of the facility, now under construction by the multinational ITER Organisation at Cadarache in the South of France.

The ITER Organisation has also awarded Amec Foster Wheeler two additional new stand-alone contracts:

  • to prepare a design work plan and data for a programme of contamination control and decontamination;
  • to carry out conceptual design and engineering for a specialised, remotely operated cutting and packaging system to reduce the volume of waste.


Also, under an existing framework contract, the ITER Organisation has appointed Amec Foster Wheeler to design a remotely operated rail and trolley system for maintenance and inspection of the cryostat, a part of the ITER machine that will contain key components including the vacuum vessel and tokamak.

In addition to the above, Fusion For Energy, which manages Europe’s contribution to ITER, has appointed Amec Foster Wheeler to a new single source multi-year framework contract to provide technical specifications, contract follow-up and acceptance work on nuclear safety electronic controls and instrumentation systems.

Greg Willetts, Vice President for Consultancy in Amec Foster Wheeler’s Clean Energy business, said:

“These contract wins underline our leading expertise in conceptual design, engineering, technical specifications, remote handling and planning for decommissioning. They take us further towards our aspiration to play a major role in developing future nuclear technologies while continuing to support the existing nuclear fission power industry.”



Notes to editors:


Amec Foster Wheeler ( designs, delivers and maintains strategic and complex assets for its customers across the global energy and related sectors.


Employing around 36,000 people in more than 55 countries and with 2015 revenues of £5.5 billion, the company operates across the oil and gas industry – from production through to refining, processing and distribution of derivative products – and in the mining, clean energy, power generation, pharma, environment and infrastructure markets.


Amec Foster Wheeler offers full life-cycle services to offshore and onshore oil and gas projects (conventional and unconventional, upstream, midstream and downstream) for greenfield, brownfield and asset support projects, plus leading refining technology.


The company’s nuclear business stands out for its ability to bring world-leading expertise, technology and scientific capabilities to customers’ challenges throughout the life-cycle from new build and reactor operations to life extension and decommissioning. With more than 3,000 nuclear specialists around the world, we’re able to support our customers with local resources.


Amec Foster Wheeler shares are publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange and its American Depositary Shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Both trade under the ticker AMFW.


ITER, a unique international collaboration bringing together China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the USA, has been established to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power. ITER is designed as the key experimental step between today’s fusion research machines and tomorrow’s fusion power plants.


Fusion for Energy (F4E) is the European Union’s organisation for Europe’s contribution to ITER.

One of the main tasks of F4E is to work together with European industry, SMEs and research organisations to develop and provide a wide range of high technology components together with engineering, maintenance and support services for the ITER project. F4E was created by a decision of the Council of the European Union as an independent legal entity and was established in April 2007 for a period of 35 years. Its offices are in Barcelona, Spain. In May 2015, F4E awarded, to an alliance of companies led by Amec Foster Wheeler, a €70m contract to manufacture ITER’s neutral beam remote handling system, one of the largest robotics contracts ever awarded in fusion energy.


Fusion is the nuclear reaction that powers our sun and stars. Energy is released when very light nuclei are brought together to form more stable, heavier ones. This occurs inside the sun at 15 million °C, where hydrogen nuclei are fused together to form helium. The aim of fusion research is to recreate this process in a man-made reactor. If the reactor’s output were significantly greater than the input needed to heat its fuel, this would create a source of safe, non-carbon emitting and virtually limitless energy.


Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains statements which constitute “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements include any statements related to the timing, results and success of contracts, and are generally identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “will,” “may,” “continue,” “should” and other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Amec Foster Wheeler, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking statements. Amec Foster Wheeler does not undertake to update any of the forward-looking statements after this date to conform such statements to actual results, to reflect the occurrence of anticipated results or otherwise.