Take a bit from the United Nations, a speck from the European Space Agency (ESA), some inspiration from the European Commission and the JET Joint Undertaking, a couple of good ideas from CERN and the International Space Station (ISS)—shake, adapt, streamline and you'll have the tailor-made international organization you need to build a project such as ITER.
"Between 1992 and 2001," remembers Harry Tuinder, now the Legal Advisor to the ITER Director-General, "a certain amount of preparatory work was accomplished within the framework of the ITER Engineering Design Activities (EDA). In November 2001, after Canada had offered a site, the formal ITER negotiations commenced and we began actively looking into possible models."
Discussions to prepare consensus and iron out the difficulties between the Negotiators were entrusted to a 40-person Negotiators Standing Sub-Group (NSSG). NSSG first met in Tokyo in December 2001, and was to convene eleven times between that date and 2007 to prepare Negotiators Meetings.
"We were embarking on a 35-year-long project. The Parties had committed very substantial investments and our first requirement was stability: we could not be dependant on a possible change of policy by one or another of the ITER Parties. So we quickly came to the conclusion that we needed a full-blown international organization based on an international agreement."
The procedure to create such an organization was "long and difficult" and further complicated, after the withdrawal of Canada in December 2003, by the absence of a decision concerning the siting of ITER until 2005.
ITER is unique in its nature, scope and objectives; the original Parties sometimes held different views on what kind of internal and governing bodies needed to be set up. They diverged on dispute settlement, project resource management, staff regulations, intellectual property, liability, voting rights... and even on how much vacation the staff would be entitled to.
"We tried to have the best of many worlds, but we also had to be inventive," says Akko Maas, ITER Senior Officer for External Coordination, who, as part of the European team that supported the European Site Studies, witnessed most of the five-year-long process.
The issue of the relations with France as the Host State was a particular headache for the Negotiators. "As an international organization," says Akko, "our premises are international. But we're not completely extra-territorial, like an embassy. We will be operating a nuclear installation and that means we had to work out a special provision in the ITER Agreement in order to observe national regulations regarding public health, safety, licensing and environmental protection."
Creating the ITER Organization, which was formally established on 24 October 2007, was "a big balancing act," says Harry Tuinder. A unique blend of "flexibility" and "commitment"; it is now, in some of its provisions, "a model for other large international science collaborations."
On Tuesday 14 July, France commemorates the taking of the Bastille, a royal prison in Paris that symbolized the arbitrary power of the Monarchy. The event marked the beginning of the French Revolution—a storm that was to engulf the country for more than six years.
For 220 years Bastille Day has been celebrated as the French Fête Nationale. On this occasion, the martial lyrics of the French national anthem will resound in every city, town and village across the land. La Marseillaise and its call to drench the furrows of the land with the tainted blood of the enemy hordes will be sung by schoolchildren, mayors, army personnel, pop stars, divas and veterans from last century's wars.
Despite repeated calls to replace its aggressive lyrics by more brotherly ones, la Marseillaise has remained untouched since it was composed in 1792 as "The war song for the Army of the Rhine." The year was one of great peril for the young Revolution: foreign armies were massing at the borders and threatening to restore King Louis XVI—not beheaded yet—to his throne.
Alarmed by the situation and by popular unrest in Paris, the Legislative Assembly issued a call for volunteers. In Marseille, 516 young men answered by forming a battalion and decided to march on to the capital. The Fédérés, as they were called, left Marseille on 3 July and walked for 26 days until they reached their destination. All the while they sung and their favourite chant was that new "War song for the Army of the Rhine" they had heard at a meeting held in Marseille the previous month.
The Fédérés were young and being from Marseille, they were loud, enthusiastic and outgoing. They made a strong impression on the people they met on their way to Paris and, quite naturally, the war song they sang became known as the song of the Marseillais—in short, La Marseillaise.
The song was adopted as the Republic's national anthem in 1795, and then banned under Napoleon's rule and the subsequent return of the Monarchy. Only in 1879, under the Third Republic, was it reinstated as France's national anthem—complete with "bloody tyrants," "mercenary phalanxes," "sublime pride," and "avenging arms."
Click here for la Marseillaise lyrics in English
In its recent meeting on 29-30 June, the Steering Committee of the Association EURATOM-Hellenic Republic elected Prof. Kyriakos Hizanidis as Head of Research Unit of the Association.
Kyriakos Hizanidis holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and a PhD in Thermonuclear Plasma Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He is currently active in the area of plasma physics and thermonuclear fusion (especially in anomalous transport, plasma turbulence, current drive and heating in tokamaks) and in photonics (especially in nonlinear waves and solitons).
He is the co-founder and organizer of the Spring School on Fusion Physics and Technology. Back in 1998, along with Profs. J. L. Vomvoridis and A. Grecos, he participated in the creation of Association EURATOM-Hellenic Republic. He is a national representative of the Hellenic Republic at CCE-FU. He was the Associate Head of the Association for the last two years.
On 2 July 2009, ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda met with His Excellency Mr. Kong Quan, Chinese Ambassador to France, at the Chinese Embassy in Paris. Director-General Ikeda briefed the Ambassador on the background and status of the development of the ITER Project, especially the main outcome of the recent Council meeting.
He explained how ITER was providing an important platform for all seven Members to jointly conduct international collaboration in fusion research in order to meet the world's demands for an alternative supply of energy in the future.
The Ambassador pointed out that ITER was one of the most international mega-science collaboration projects in which China had ever participated. The success and achievements of ITER would definitely offer a solution to the energy sustainability for all mankind. China would continue its support for the development of the ITER Project by fulfilling its due obligations.
Director-General Ikeda and Ambassador Kong further exchanged views on the project schedule, China's current participation and that of other Members, and on the status of Chinese staff working in the ITER Organization. Lastly, Ambassador Kong happily accepted an invitation to visit the ITER site in Cadarache.
The visit of two work sites, the Jules-Horowitz Research Reactor (RJH) on the CEA premises and ITER, were on Jean-Noël Guerini's agenda last Wednesday in Cadarache. The president of the Conseil Général of the Bouches-du-Rhône département was greeted by director Serge Durand and ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda. President Guerini said he was "in favour of nuclear energy provided it goes along with maximum safety measures," and thanked both CEA and ITER for providing "economic opportunities and jobs for the residents of our region." |
|Journalists from 18 different countries descended on Culham in the UK on Friday 3 July to see how the JET device is paving the way for ITER.
The visitors were delegates from the World Conference of Science Journalists, which took place in London earlier in the week.
Francesco Romanelli, EFDA-JET Associate Leader, gave a presentation on the exciting plans for JET and led tours of the facility—during which the journalists tested their skills with the remote-handling boom by playing Jenga!
Nick Holloway of Culham's Public Relations team explained: "It was a unique opportunity to make contact with journalists from countries that wouldn't normally be on our radar. Our visitors came from as far afield as Argentina, Uganda and Australia, and they took away a very positive impression of JET and ITER."
The Hans Werner Osthoff Plasma Physics Prize 2009 is equally shared by the two German scientists Jan Benedikt from the University of Bochum and Philipp Lauber from the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching. The prize is awarded for outstanding achievements in the field of plasma physics, and is particularly directed at supporting junior scientists. Lauber acquired international recognition for developing a computer simulation for predicting the behaviour of the plasma in ITER.
To read more click here
Now that summer is here, you should always be aware of insects, when walking around HQ and CEA buildings. Insects such as ticks and mosquitoes are known to carry diseases. To protect yourself and others, follow these tips:
- Use the main paths, avoiding underbrush and tall grass.
- Avoid wearing clothing with floral patterns as this may attract insect stings.
- If you are allergic to insect repellent, it can be used to help avoid insect stings.
-Throw away sugary drinks laying around, use covered containers to limit their odour.
- Follow safety instructions and safety panels in the ITER and CEA grounds.
- Don't wear perfume or scented lotions.
- Keep away from nests; if you do disturb a nest, RUN AWAY from attacking wasps. (Was it really necessary for us to tell you that?).
- Visit your general practitioner if you see signs of a rash.
ITER Safety & Security Department
On Tuesday, 7 July, the US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu addressed the Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works on the threat of climate change. To solve the challenges, Chu said, "the Administration and Congress need to work together to spur a revolution in clean energy technologies. To achieve our long-term goals in a more cost-effective way, we will need a sustained commitment to research and development."
The Secretary ended his address with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King: "We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late."
The stream of visitors does not stop, despite the temperatures on the ITER construction site. Last week, a visit to ITER was organized through the Italian Chamber of Commerce for France in Marseille for 50 members of a Franco-Italian delegation in collaboration with Agence Iter France and the ITER Organization.
Then, a delegation of the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté et Nucléaire visited CEA Cadarache and the ITER site. Carlos Alejaldre, Director of Safety & Security gave them presentations of ITER. On the 8 July, the President of the Conseil Général des Hautes Alpes, Jean- Yves Dusserre, came to visit ITER. He was welcomed by Francois Gauché, the Director of Agence Iter France, who presented progress on construction, and Kaname Ikeda, Director-General, who presented the ITER Project.
On 6 July, twenty students from Delft University in the Netherlands visited ITER. After a guided tour coordinated by Marina Bayle from Agence Iter France, Akko Maas from the ITER Project Office gave them a introduction to the project and replied to questions in relation with their technical studies and interests.
Click here to view photos from various visits...