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  • Neutral Beam Test Facility | After upgrades, SPIDER testbed set to restart

    After a two-year shutdown for upgrades, the SPIDER testbed at the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility in Padua, Italy, is preparing for commissioning and operation. [...]

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  • On site | Component transfer goes electric

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  • Image of the Week | Director-General Barabaschi visits India

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  • Science | Increasing fusion performance with energetic-particle-driven instabilities

    New results published in Physical Review Letters suggest that instabilities driven by energetic particles can have a positive impact on fusion performance. In t [...]

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Of Interest

See archived entries

Safety & Quality

A mission to Korea

Ensuring that the ITER Organization, its partners and contractors implement the highest standards of safety and quality is central to ITER. It is a matter of regulation, but it is also a matter of culture. As nuclear operator, the ITER Organization has an obligation to verify that the rules and provisions for Installations nucléaires de base, as defined by French law, are understood and applied by all. Over the past years, ITER nuclear inspectors have performed many such verifications. For a whole week in early June, they were in Korea—first for an in-depth inspection at Hyundai Heavy Industries, the manufacturer of four of the ITER vacuum vessel sectors, then for a one-day audit at one of the companies bidding for the repair and/or re-fabrication of the thermal shield.

For the ITER Safety and Quality team, the mission to Korea was an opportunity to visit the KSTAR tokamak in Daejeon. From left to right: Byunghoon YOON, Chief Quality & Safety Officer (ITER Korea); Usama Abdulkader, nuclear safety inspector (ITER Organization); Si-Woo Yoon, Vice-President (Korea Institute of Fusion Energy); Gilles Perrier, Head of the ITER Safety and Quality Department (ITER Organization); Thomas Sobrier, nuclear safety inspector (ITER Organization); and Chang Ho Choi, Deputy Head (ITER Korea). (Click to view larger version...)
For the ITER Safety and Quality team, the mission to Korea was an opportunity to visit the KSTAR tokamak in Daejeon. From left to right: Byunghoon YOON, Chief Quality & Safety Officer (ITER Korea); Usama Abdulkader, nuclear safety inspector (ITER Organization); Si-Woo Yoon, Vice-President (Korea Institute of Fusion Energy); Gilles Perrier, Head of the ITER Safety and Quality Department (ITER Organization); Thomas Sobrier, nuclear safety inspector (ITER Organization); and Chang Ho Choi, Deputy Head (ITER Korea).
Although they are ITER Organization employees, nuclear inspectors Thomas Sobrier and Usama Abdulkader are "independent" experts. It is their mission to verify that the ITER Organization itself, the ITER Domestic Agencies, and all the entities that participate in the project implement the requirements related to management of Protection Important Components¹ (PIC) and Protection Important Activities. In Korea, they were accompanied by Gilles Perrier, the Head of ITER's Safety & Quality Department.

"Beyond the regulatory inspection process, and beyond the regular contacts we have on the occasion of the ITER Council or other formal meetings, it was very important for me to connect with the teams in the Korean Domestic Agency and build a true, human relationship with them," says Perrier. "And the same goes for the teams at Hyundai Heavy Industries. The personal relationship is essential to keep progressing together in an integrated manner and to align our approach to quality and safety."

At the Korean Domestic Agency and at Hyundai Heavy Industries, the inspection focused on how the lessons learned from the manufacturing of the first three vacuum vessel sectors, already delivered to ITER, informed the ongoing processes for the fourth sector and vacuum vessel ports still under fabrication. The inspectors highlighted good practices and identified opportunities for improvement. The visit was also an opportunity to visit the KSTAR tokamak in Daejeon.

As for the quality audit at one of the thermal shield repair/re-fabrication bidders, it aimed to verify the company's quality management compliance with the ISO:9001 standard as well as to determine its suitability and capability to meet ITER requirements. Good practices were observed, and opportunities for improvement were identified.

¹French nuclear safety authorities (ASN) classify as Protection Important Components the equipment that keeps the facility in a safe state and prevents or mitigates nuclear risks to humans and the environment. Protection Important Components are subject to regulation and inspection.



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