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Marking the fifth anniversary of the ITER Project Center, a press conference was organized within the premises of the Russian press agency RIA Novosti.
On 19 June, it will be five years since the Russian Domestic Agency officially opened its offices in the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow. Marking this fifth anniversary, a press conference* was organized within the premises of the Russian press agency RIA Novosti. The more than 25 participants from television, radio and newspapers demonstrates the level of interest in Russia in the ITER project.

The volume of Russia's annual contributions to ITER has reached EUR 150 million. This year we signed 78 contracts for the execution of works and supply of equipment.

Russia's participation in this project is giving the opportunity to the industries in our country to develop specialized technology and new manufacturing processes. In the city of Glazov, some 1,000 km east of Moscow, a whole new plant was built for the production of ITER's superconductors. A cabling facility has been built in Podolsk and a jacketing factory in Protvino. At the Efremov Institute in St. Petersburg a High Heat Flux Facility was created, as well as the manufacturing lines for the first wall, divertor and poloidal field coil 1. The cryogenic engineering company JSC Cryogenmash, located in Balashikha near Moscow, is in charge of the design and construction of ITER's port plug test facility stands. The Institute of Applied Physics in Nizhniy Novgorod has manufactured the prototype of the ITER gyrotron, which it successfully tested at the Kurchatov Institute at the required 1MW of power during 1000 seconds.

In total, about 30 Russian companies are currently under contract with the ITER Project Center, as we call ourselves now—a private institution of the state-owned company Rosatom. And each of these contracts "pulls along" a whole chain of contractors and subcontractors ...

The ITER Project, besides its role as the ultimate experiment on the way to a new and benign energy source, to us also means new jobs and training, and the transfer of skills to young professionals. And we all know: education is the key!!!

Down the road, some of our experts will work on the installation itself. Until then, but we will continue to make use of the possibility of sending young engineers and scientists to the ITER Headquarters in France for a few months to allow them to get some hands-on experience. In a first experience of this kind, seven researchers recently had the chance to explore the ITER world and we will certainly take more advantage of this excellent opportunity in the near future.  

There has also been a personnel change in the Russian Council delegation to the ITER Council: Rosatom Deputy Director-General Vyacheslav Pershukov has been appointed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to represent the Russian Federation at the next meeting talking place in Washington, 20-21 June.

(*)The participants to the press conference were (from left) Andrei Reznichenco, RIA Novosti correspondent and moderator; Vasily Utkin, head of the Department of the Government Executive Office; Sergey Mazurenko, Deputy Minister for Education and Science of the Russian Federation and member of the delegation to the ITER Council; Evgeny Velikhov, president of NRC Kurchatov Institute, Academician of RAS and Council member; Vyacheslav Pershukov, Deputy Director General-Director of "Rosatom" and Council member; and, finally, Anatoly Krasilnikov, director of the ITER Project Center.

So far, only a few people have seen it from the inside. The Swedish delegation visits the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility.
This Friday, a delegation of engineers from the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and the Royal Institute of Technology came to Cadarache to take a close look at the first concrete footprints of the ITER Project. After an introduction to the project given by Director-General Osamu Motojima, the visitors were invited to an extensive site tour, which finally led them right into the heart of the Tokamak Pit.

After 45 minutes touring in the midday heat, the honourable academy members were glad to be back on the air conditioned bus ... exhausted, but thrilled by this "fascinating project."

The issue of energy is one of the greatest challenges of our time. And the German Max Planck Society is keen to face these challenges. This involves understanding and modelling the evolution of the climate, calculating and outlining energy scenarios, and investigating the generation of energy—from artificial photosynthesis to nuclear fusion. These are all topics covered in the exhibition "Going Solar: Sustainable Alternatives for Tomorrow's Energy Supply," which will open 12 June in the Max Planck Science Gallery, Markgrafenstraße 37, in Berlin.

For more information please click here.


Thursday morning, the lobby of Agence Iter France was filled with the smell of freshly baked baguettes, croissants and pains au chocolat. There were also mimosa, fig, rose and other jams. For those without a sweet tooth, there was saucisson, tapenade and anchoïade. Another occasion for ITER staff to meet informally around an Intercultural Breakfast.

Baguettes, croissants and pains au chocolat are traditional breakfast fare in France. The first production of a croissant dates back to 1683. That year, Austria was under attack by the Turkish Empire. Outside of besieged Vienna, the Turkish assailant found that time was slipping past and decided to dig an underground tunnel to enter the city. The Vienna bakers, the majority of whom worked underground, heard noises and called in the army. The Turks were discovered and retreated.

The bakers were thanked and honoured, and they decided to make bread in the shape of a crescent moon (the symbol of the Turkish flag). The croissant was born! One hundred years later, Marie Antoinette (Austrian Princess who married Louis XVI), introduced the croissant to the French aristocrats. It was only at the start of this century that the butter-puff croissant was created, and became the French national product in 1920.
 
As for the pain au chocolat ... its origin remains shrouded in mystery. And what about the baguette? The baguette is a specific shape of bread — the diameter of the baguette can be 5-6 cm, but the length of the bread may be up to a metre in length. Parisian baguettes typically weigh 250 grams. The recipe and baking style (in a steam oven) was imported from Austria in the 19th century, but a French law that dictated that bakers could not begin work before 4 a.m. led to the creation of the distinctly elongated loaf. The longer, thinner loaf allowed bakers to complete their task before breakfast time. Thus the baguette was born.

Senior Engineering Officer Akko Maas holds a picture of the Tokamak Pole, taken in 2007. Five years later, he is standing at the same location, but 17 metres lower ...
Three years ago, in the spring of 2009, the local TV network Télé Locale Provence (TLP) and the ITER Organization entered into a partnership to produce a series of didactic and entertaining programs about the ITER Project.

Six programs were produced in all, each presenting a specific aspect of the project: science, the early works on the platform, safety, the "ITER people," etc.

The series resumes this Saturday with a program entitled ITER en chantier(s) / The ITER work site(s). Special guests Akko Maas, Laurent Patisson, Ben Slee (F4E), Ken Blackler, Eric Brault (F4E) and Fabrice Simon present the work that has been accomplished over the past year in both the Tokamak Pit and the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility.

The program features the usual on-the-street interviews, this time in Vinon-sur-Verdon, where not everyone seems to be aware of what is happening just a few kilometres from their doorstep ...

This seventh program will begin airing this Saturday 8:00 am and 12:30 pm. It will be run on average twice daily for two weeks. (More details here.)

TLP is accessible through the TNT Digital Terrestrial Network Channel 21, the FRANSAT satellite, and the Internet "boxes" Orange, SFR and Numéricable.

ITER en chantier(s) can also be viewed on the ITER Organization Youtube channel. The six previous programs are available on the ITER web site video page (go to Video Categories and click on ITER on Local TV).