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A roadmap for ITER's plasma control

The participants to this week's Plasma Control Workshop. (Click to view larger version...)
The participants to this week's Plasma Control Workshop.
Next year, the conceptual design activity for the ITER plasma control system (PCS) will be launched. In order to discuss the lessons learned over the years in plasma control and their application to ITER, a 3.5-day Plasma Control Workshop was organized this week in Cadarache, which brought together plasma control experts from the fusion devices in each of the ITER Member states. The main goal of the Workshop was to investigate how best to exploit existing plasma control experience in the design and development of the ITER plasma control system, as well as the foreseen time schedule for its development and its integration into CODAC and associated systems.

Due to the scale and complexity of ITER, the plasma control system must be robust, with extensive quality assurance and prior testing, necessitating a timely launching of the design activities. The experience gained through operation of existing devices utilizing a variety of approaches to and implementations of plasma control will be invaluable for the definition of the scope and goals of the conceptual and engineering design phase of the ITER system.

The Plasma Control Workshop was very well attended with representatives from all seven ITER Member states plus EFDA (European Fusion Development Agreement), as well as 30 plasma control experts from outside the ITER Organization. ITER Organization members from the Fusion Science & Technology Department, CODAC, and the Office for Central Integration & Engineering brought the total participant list to about 50 people.

Overall, there was broad agreement on a phased approach beginning with relatively simple control schemes, yet building in from the beginning a powerful architecture that retains the required flexibility to be able to easily expand the complexity of the control schemes as ITER operation evolves. A preliminary roadmap for the conceptual design of the ITER plasma control system was also agreed, making this a very successful workshop.

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