At ITER, the accountability for these documents ultimately lies with Science, Controls & Operation, where templates are developed and maintained and where the process of creating the Concepts of Operation is managed. A lead author has already been designated for the majority of the Concepts of Operation that will be produced. Lead authors are generally system experts from Engineering and Construction Domains, helped by contributing writers and reviewers from a variety of other areas, including Science, Controls & Operation, and Safety and Quality.
The purpose of a Concept of Operations document is to define, for each plant system, how it will be operated in order to accomplish stated operational goals, and also define what will be the operational modes and states, the operating limits and conditions, and the operational processes and operator actions required to perform ITER tasks—both during normal and incident/accident conditions. (Pictured: one part of the ITER heat rejection system.)
A second example of a ConOps is the one describing the operation of the Tokamak cooling water system, the primary circuit that circulates water in the vacuum vessel. Different configurations (modes of operation) of this system will be set to accomplish different operational goals, for example to remove heat and maintain the vacuum vessel within defined range of temperature, or to bake and to clean it. Basically, the ConOps defines how the system is configured and handled by the operator to accomplish these two objectives.
ITER is not a power plant—and therefore the associated requirements and operational protocols may not be normative of those for future power plants. In her capacity as Strategic Coordination Officer for the Science, Controls & Operation Department., Rossella Rotella is helping to create the SysOps documents that will enable access to a wide variety of operational domains and scenarios, including operating in proximity to operational limits and conditions.