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From left to right: Martin Kocan, David Campbell (coordinator of the Monaco Postdoctoral Fellowship Program), Ma Yunxing, Pavel Aleynikov, Germàn Pérez and Liu Feng.
They are in their late twenties or early thirties and have already accumulated an impressive amount of experience in fusion research. Liu and Ma from China; Germàn from Spain; Pavel from Russia and Martin from Slovakia are the third promotion of the ITER Monaco Fellows. They belong to the generation of physicists and engineers that will see electricity from fusion energy fed into the grid.

At age 33 Martin Kocan is already an old hand at fusion, having spent eight years in fusion research, first in Prague and later at Tore Supra in France, where he did his PhD, and at ASDEX in Germany, where he worked three years as a postdoc. The list of his publications occupies more than three pages of his resume. At ITER, he will work with plasma physicist Steve Lisgo on plasma-wall interaction and, more specifically, on how the transport of H-localized mode and Edge Localized Modes affect the first wall of the tokamak.

Liu Feng will not need to move in order to work for ITER. She's been living in Aix-en-Provence for two years now, doing postdoc research on ITER scenarios at CEA Cadache's Research Institute on Magnetic Fusion (IRFM). Her new job at ITER will be to "contribute to finding solutions to stabilize the plasma," doing simulation work and" checking codes"".

Ma Yunxing was 19 when he arrived at MIT in 2006 to do his PhD in physics. Fusion was already a familiar world to him as he had taken his first course in plasma physics as a junior in college. A Chinese national like Liu, Ma had never been to Europe before joining ITER as a Monaco Fellow. He finds the atmosphere here in France "much more relaxed than in China or the US."

The first time Pavel Aleynikov encountered a tokamak was in his third year at Moscow's Institute of Physics and Technology. However it is not the machine (T-10) that decided his calling but the people who operated it. If T-10 didn't make "a strong impression" on him, the Tevatron at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago, where he did a summer internship in 2008, certainly did. "I was very tempted to go into accelerators," he says. At ITER, he has found another team that he "liked at first sight." Pavel will be working with senior scientific officer Yuri Gribov on disruption simulation and runaway electrons.

With a PhD thesis on liquid metal-cooled Generation IV fission nuclear reactors and an advanced diploma in plasmas and nuclear fusion, Germàn Pérez is a young man of two worlds. His specialties extend to thermal engineering, power cycles and power systems. At ITER he will work in the Blanket Section on "defect acceptance criteria" in the machine's first wall.

The new ITER Science and Technology Meetings kick off on Tuesday 29 January.
A new type of lecture series kicks off this week at ITER that aims to promote the sharing of expert knowledge of fusion, the ITER Tokamak, and its systems with the Organization's scientific and technical staff.

Modelled after science meetings held for many years at JET, the ITER Science and Technology Meetings have a threefold stated purpose: to intensify the Organization's academic atmosphere, to educate the younger members of staff, and to offer a forum for constructive peer criticism.

"Many of the younger scientists and technicians come from areas outside of fusion," explains Paul Thomas, head of the Heating & Current Drive Division, who is taking the lead in programming the lecture series. "We feel that it is important to diffuse the knowledge that is specific to the ITER Project and bring everyone on board in the pursuit of our goal. It's good for an engineer, for example, to understand the 'larger picture' and have information beyond that of his or her specific equipment area."

The proposal for the new lecture series was approved by the ITER Project Board in December. A steering committee has been created to plan the lecture topics for the bi-monthly meetings and to make sure that the series remains focused on its goal: to offer high-quality, highly technical content in a one-hour session that is designed not to overtax already busy work schedules.

Each meeting will include two presentations plus time for discussion. The series begins on Tuesday 29 January with "What is a Tokamak" and "Superconductivity for Fusion." "This first meeting should be considered rather a prerequisite for all of the others, establishing the technical basis for ITER operation that will continue to be explored during the other lectures," says Paul. "We're hoping for excellent attendance, especially among the junior staff members."

The ITER Science and Technology Meetings will clearly demarcate themselves from ITER's other regular conference series, Inside ITER, which is aimed at a more general public. The speakers will come principally from the ranks of ITER Organization and Domestic Agency staff, with a few notable exceptions. Jean-Luc Duchateau, who was involved with the development of the superconducting tokamak Tore Supra, and Peter Stott, co-author of Fusion: The Energy of the Universe, are already on the lecture series program.

A special session will be devoted annually to topics related to neutral beam heating in memory of ITER's Heating & Current Drive Division head Arturo Tanga, who died with his wife in a tragic accident in 2009. The first Arturo and Beatrice Tanga Memorial Talk is scheduled for 26 February 2013.

The new ITER lecture series aims to stand apart. "This bi-monthly event should not be considered 'just another meeting,'" sums up Paul. "It is a sign of maturity for an Organization when it can offer personal enrichment opportunities of this calibre."

Anatoly Krasilnikov, head of the Russian Domestic Agency; Daniela Puttman; Michael Walsh, head of the Diagnostic Division; Francoise Flament, head of the Procurement and Contract Division; ITER Director-General Motojima; and Luciano Bertalot and Robin Barnsley from the Diagnostics Division.
The first Procurement Arrangement of 2013 was signed last week at ITER by the head of the Russian Domestic Agency, Anatoly Krasilnikov, and ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima for the divertor neutron flux monitoring system. "This represents a large volume of work that has been carried out by the diagnostics teams in Russia and at the ITER Organization and it is my pleasure to be here and make this signature," said Anatoly.

The divertor neutron flux monitoring system, or DNFM for short, is destined to sit at the bottom of the machine in three roughly equally spaced positions around the torus, integrated with the divertor.

This monitoring system uses sensors that provide signals, or counts, when hit by the neutrons produced during fusion reactions. "By knowing this neutron emission," says Luciano Bertalot,  "fusion power can be estimated, providing very important information regarding ITER performance."

The diagnostic will have to withstand quite a harsh environment: high neutron flux and nuclear load, high temperatures (up to several hundred degrees), magnetic fields (up to 5 Tesla), and significant electromagnetic noise.

The DNFM will need to be integrated into the divertor modules before they arrive on the ITER site. Since the development of the divertor is well underway, the signing of this Procurement Arrangement is an important milestone in order to maintain the ITER schedule.
The divertor neutron flux monitoring system sitting at the bottom of the torus. It is integrated in the divertor and is designed to provide routine measurements of the neutron emissions.

Thirty times more powerful than existing facilities and designed to operate in long pulses, the ESS will act as a kind of super microscope. Source: ESS
Neutrons, along with electrons and X-ray, allow us to see inside matter. Since the wavelength of neutrons is similar to the distance between atoms, they can provide images of structure on an atomic scale. Neutron scattering is therefore an important tool for the provision of structural information on the atomic scale and for the understanding of dynamical properties of solids and liquids.

Quite a number of neutron sources exist around the world, with the most recent newcomer to the club and world leader in the supply of neutrons being the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) in the US. Now, a new project is about to change the "landscape of neutrons," as Juan Tomás Hernani reported in the most recent Inside ITER seminar last week. Hernani is the Secretary General for Innovation and Industry of the European Spallation Source (ESS) which is currently under development in southern Sweden. Thirty times more powerful than existing facilities and designed to operate in long pulses, the ESS will act as a kind of super microscope. Metaphorically speaking: if researchers have been studying materials under candlelight so far, the neutrons at ESS will provide the brilliance of floodlight.
Set up as a joint project of 17 European nations, the ESS at present has reached the critical planning phase for the instruments and components. Construction will begin in 2013 in Lund and the first neutrons together with the initial seven instruments will be available in 2019. The remaining instruments will be completed by 2025, when the facility shall be fully operational. The total costs for planning, construction and operation of ESS are estimated at EUR 1.48 billion.

Click here to download Juan Tomás Hernani's presentation.

The Barcelona symposium will focus on both near-term fusion devices and long-term reactor technologies.
From 16-20 September 2013, the 11th International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology (ISFNT) will be held in Barcelona, Spain. The ISFNT is the international counterpart to the European SOFT and the American TOFE fusion technology conferences. The conference rotates through the different world regions—previous ISFNTs were held in Portland, US (2011), Dalian, China (2009), Heidelberg, Germany (2007) and Tokyo, Japan (2005).

The program committee is composed of members from ITER and the seven Members. The symposium focuses on both near-term fusion devices and long-term reactor technologies such as breeding blankets, neutron sources and hybrid reactors. There will also be a section devoted to inertial fusion technology.