Time to say goodbye

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Of Interest

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Time to say goodbye

Sabina Griffith

Vladimir Mukhovatov at his farewell reception. (Click to view larger version...)
Vladimir Mukhovatov at his farewell reception.
This week it was time to say goodbye to three honorable ITER staff members. After 22 years of service to ITER, covering the various phases of the project, Vladimir Mukhovatov retired—only to be picking up a new job at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow where he started his career in 1958 on the first tokamak ever built, the T-1. "We owe you our deepest respect," said Valery Chuyanov, the Deputy Director-General of ITER's Fusion Science and Technology Department during a little ceremony. "Not only for your modesty, but also for your devotion to the project. You taught us what we know today and you also taught us what we don't know. You are an encyclopedia on two legs."

One last picture with Yuri. (Click to view larger version...)
One last picture with Yuri.
The second farewell party this week was devoted to Yuri Balasanov, "one of the pioneers of the ITER Project," said Director-General Kaname Ikeda, expressing his respect. Nominated Head of the Division of International Organizations by the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy, Yuri took part in the early ITER negotiations. Ever since he joined the ITER Project full time in 1994 he has been in charge of staff recruitments and secondments, and he is probably "the person best known to the fusion community around the world," Ikeda said. Having moved all over the world for the ITER Project—from Moscow, to San Diego, and on to Garching and Cadarache—Yuri and his wife are finally heading back home.

Neil Calder, who created the spirit of ITER Communication. (Click to view larger version...)
Neil Calder, who created the spirit of ITER Communication.
And, last but not least, ITER said farewell to the Head of the Communication, Neil Calder, who is returning to the United States. In his two-and-a-half years at ITER, Neil built up the Communication team and created the tools that have shaped ITER's public identity—the ITER logo and branding, the ITER website, and the dynamic Facebook page and Youtube channel. Convinced that the potential of fusion doesn't yet occupy the place it deserves on the energy scene, he has worked to federate fusion communicators throughout the world, both within ITER and without. Neil created the spirit of ITER Communication—fun, fast-paced, transparent and informative.


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