In-person meeting encourages diagnostic synergies
On 3-5 March, diagnostics representatives from the seven ITER Domestic Agencies met at ITER to review progress, investigate synergies, and discuss technical issues.
The Port Plugs & Diagnostic Integration Division held its annual three-day meeting in March with all the Domestic Agencies in attendance. It was the fifth edition for this forum, which was created to facilitate the constructive, project-wide exchange of ideas, to promote problem-solving and to share new developments. All seven ITER Domestic Agencies are procuring diagnostic systems for ITER as part of their in-kind contributions to the project.
A large range of topics were covered and, if anything, there was too little time available. The Domestic Agencies each reported on their 2014 diagnostic development highlights and participants discussed common concerns such as the integration and coordination of diagnostic systems, safety requirements, work plans and instrumentation and control. A visit to the new ITER virtual reality room and a bus tour of the site were appreciated by all.
This annual diagnostic event continues to expand its scope as the project progresses. Because the diagnostic systems have interfaces with the buildings and many other systems, cooperation with other areas of the Organization is intensifying. After last year's meeting, a number of cross-functional task teams emerged to work on specific problems; this year proved no different, with new task forces created to target such areas as port integration, shutters, and glow discharge cleaning (GDC).
It is becoming apparent there are many synergies in the diagnostic development programs of the Domestic Agencies. Areas of common interest will be actively pursued, with resultant positive repercussions in cost and time.
As in previous years, each session was chaired by one of the Domestic Agency heads of diagnostics; this rotating chair format has proved popular and helps to enliven the debates. "A number of technical issues and developments were discussed this year, including welding, remote handling, safety, the investigation of alternative materials, safety-important valves and mirror cleaning," said Michael Walsh, who leads the Port Plugs & Diagnostic Integration Division at ITER. "It's very nice to see progress on so many different fronts."
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