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Of Interest

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Reassessing the Research Plan

-Sabina Griffith

Leading plasma scientists, plus key engineers and scientists from the ITER Organization, met at Headquarters last week to reassess the ITER Research Plan. (Click to view larger version...)
Leading plasma scientists, plus key engineers and scientists from the ITER Organization, met at Headquarters last week to reassess the ITER Research Plan.
Last week, 21 of the world-leading plasma scientists plus key engineers and scientists from the ITER Organization came together at the ITER Headquarters for two days to reassess the ITER Research Plan.

Since its implementation as one of the ITER Baseline documents in 2010, the boundary conditions for the installation of certain components have changed. Accordingly, an update was necessary to the Research Plan that defines and coordinates the project's research activities on the path towards deuterium-tritium fusion power.

The ITER Research Plan is one of the major ITER Baseline documents. It describes the principal physics research activities to be carried out during ITER construction, together with an initial definition of the experimental program planned for the first ten years of ITER operation leading to the production of several hundred MW of fusion power.

However, since the schedule for the installation of some of the critical components has changed, the physics community sees itself confronted with some essential uncertainties. "For example, cost pressures have necessitated a rescheduling of the installation date of some of the key ITER measurement systems and elements of the heating and current drive systems," says David Campbell, Head of ITER's Plasma Operation Directorate. "It is therefore up to us to define the requirements from the physics side to ensure that we can achieve ITER's ambitious scientific goals within the foreseen timeframe."

The conclusions of the workshop on the ITER Research Plan, including recommendations on installation sequencing for some key plasma heating and measurement systems, will be presented to the ITER Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) which will convene at ITER Headquarters on 14-16 October.


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