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Carlos Alejaldre , ITER Deputy Director-General, Safety and Security Division.
_At the beginning of 2008, the ITER Organization presented to the French Authorities the request for the creation of the ITER Basic Nuclear Installation, the official start to the ITER nuclear licensing process. As a result the ITER Organization (IO) has entered into a formal relationship with the French Nuclear Safety Authority, a development that directly affects our Department in our key role as interface between the two organizations and all the control responsibilities that follow the application of the 1984 French Quality Law to our Installation.

So, to say that 2008 is a very intensive year for our Department is an understatement, and all efforts are now concentrated on being able to meet the challenge towards the end of this year of starting the Public Enquiry on ITER foreseen in the nuclear licensing process and also successfully concluding the technical safety review of the Project next year.

ITER is the first fusion installation to undergo such a full nuclear licensing and therefore the challenge, the task and responsibility is enormous. I am very confident in the outcome, because not only do we have a very solid project but even more importantly we have the privilege to be able to count upon the strong commitment and professionalism of all IO staff as well as that of our collaborators in the different Members.


Signing the "Memorandum of Understanding": Norbert Holtkamp, Principal Deputy Director-General of ITER and Didier Gambier, Director of Fusion for Energy (F4E).
The ITER Organization and the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy have agreed on a "voluntary financial contribution to the preliminary design activities for the ITER buildings." The agreement or "Memorandum of Understanding" between the IO and the EU Fusion for Energy (F4E) teams to facilitate the funding of the Pre Architecture and Engineering (PreAE) contract for designing the ITER buildings. The Mermorandum was signed on 18 April by Nobert Holtkamp, ITER Principal Deputy Director-General and Didier Gambier, Director of Fusion for Energy (F4E).


Already at 100 staff and growing fast: The European Domestic Agency for ITER with homebase in Barcelona, also known as "Fusion for Energy" (F4E).

For more information on job offers click here...

As part of the tokamak special issue series, Fusion Science and Technology (FS&T), edited by Nermin Uckan, has published a special issue (May 2008) devoted to Joint European Torus (JET). FS&T provides an overview of the physics research program carried out at JET since the beginning of its exploitation in 1983, covering the periods of JET operation under JET Joint Undertaking and JET-EFDA phases. There are two introductory chapters: one from Prof. D. Palumbo (Honorary General Director Research, EURATOM) describing the events leading to the decision to build JET and one from the former JET Joint Undertaking directors summarizing the main achievements of the JET Joint Undertaking. The remaining chapters are organized to review more recent EFDA-JET results, including high-performance (H-mode) operation, advanced tokamak scenarios, burning plasma physics, plasma boundary and scrape-off layer physics, disruption studies, performance limiting MHD stability, physics studies with the additional (radio-frequency and neutral beam) heating systems, core transport studies, and present/future planned experiments. Some of JET's state-of-the-art plasma diagnostics capabilities were covered in a recent FS&T special issue, "Plasma Diagnostics for Magnetic Fusion Research," FS&T, Vol. 53, No. 2, February 2008.


Though usually all smiles, Ina is a tough negotiator.
Better make sure you are on good terms with Ina Backbier because before she became ITER Organization's In-Kind Procurement Champion, she was National Karate Champion in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany!

Ina, who joined ITER in December 2006 as Senior Project Coordinator for Project Management, became fascinated by Japanese business, culture and language. At the age of 5 she took her first karate lessons. After high school she took a first degree in Japanology and then graduated in Business Management. Her thesis in Innovation Management in New York, investigating different methods of stimulating organizational productivity and creativity, won a prize that was recognized at national level.

This feel for finding different pathways and alternatives to increase efficiency and effectiveness, this "thinking out of the box", came in handy when she arrived at ITER after a project at BMW and five years at EFDA in Germany.

In ITER she works on the Procurement Arrangements which are defining the roles and responsibilities between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies implementing the in-kind contributions with a total value of about 2700 kIUA (kIUA stands for ITER Units of Account in which the ITER Procurement Packages are measured). This means creating the framework for setting down all technical requirements, quality assurance, warranty, delivery, liability etc. but also developing a working relationship based on collaboration and partnership. "That's the fascinating thing about ITER," says Ina, "being one of the most amazing scientific ventures of this time, where the organization and coordination challenges match the technological ones, it's fantastic to work with so many different people, cultures and languages, and try to find processes and solutions for business challenges that are unique and have never been tackled before."

Last week, the North Entrance to the ITER site was officially opened including the safety and security facilities. The North Access leads to the Company Area I which will serve up to 400 contractors. "Together with the already existing West Entrance two out of three accesses to the site are now in use", the Director of the Agence ITER France (AIF), Francois Gauché, said.

The pace of the platform levelling works has increased now that two-shift working has been implemented. In addition first test blasts with explosives were undertaken on site last week to remove rock for the Tokamak platform.

Science meets Science Fiction: The new blockbuster "Iron Man" featuring JET.
When the producers of new Hollywood blockbuster 'Iron Man' wanted to set a scene in a futuristic science lab they knew who to call. And experts at the JET (Joint European Torus) fusion experiment at Culham in Oxfordshire were happy to help. They sent photos and videos of JET to the producers in California, who used the material when designing the movie set. Culham's Media Manager Nick Holloway explains: "In the film, an arc reactor similar to JET is built as a device for creating clean energy. The production company, Iron Works, contacted us to get an idea of how a fusion reactor should look. JET is the world's largest fusion experiment so it was natural that they came to us. Although the designers have used artistic licence in their set, it was good to get some science fact into science fiction! "

The film shows fusion as the future of energy, so naturally we were pleased to contribute." Iron Man, released on Friday 2 May, is set to be one of the biggest movies of 2008. It stars Robert Downey Jr as the eponymous comic-book superhero, who dons a flying armoured iron suit to protect the planet and fight his arch-enemy the Iron Monger.