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Of Interest

See archived articles

A year of momentous and symbolic events

Robert Arnoux

With the Baseline approved, a new Director-General appointed, and the start of construction work on the platform, late July and early August were a very busy time at ITER. (Click to view larger version...)
With the Baseline approved, a new Director-General appointed, and the start of construction work on the platform, late July and early August were a very busy time at ITER.
Another year has gone by at ITER. A quarter century after President Reagan and Secretary Gorbatchev met in Geneva and launched the international fusion endeavour that was to become ITER, the project is now solidly on track.

On the eve of Osamu Motojima's nomination as Director-General of ITER Organization, an extraordinary meeting of the ITER Council approved the Baseline, the project's roadmap to achieving First Plasma in November 2019.

The events of 2010 were both momentous and symbolic: excavation work began in the Tokamak Seismic Pit; construction gathered momentum on the Poloidal Field Coils Assembly Building and the future ITER Headquarters; in front of the Headquarters the youngest ITER staff members raised the flag of their respective nations; and the foundation stone for ITER's future "home" was unveiled.

The world of ITER however, is much larger than the platform that will host the installation: in factories all over the world, the manufacturing of components has been launched. The ITER Itinerary, by which they will be delivered to the ITER site, is now finalized. By mid-2011, the first test convoys will be organized, the actual convoys arriving on site about a year later.

In 2010, many new faces appeared in the Organization, now precisely 469-people strong not counting experts, interim personnel and contractors who bring the number of people working directly for the ITER Organization in Cadarache close to 850.

Four years into its official existence, ITER is fast becoming a household name. We found a horse named Iter, and also a sailboat. Three weeks ago, in the crossword puzzle section of one of the French national dailies, one of the clues to be solved was: "Brings the Sun to the Earth" ... in four letters.

Click here to view a selection of captioned (English and French) images from 2010.


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