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ITER NEWSLINE 10
The first Procurement Packages for the project are for the magnet conductors (toroidal and poloidal field coils and the central solenoid) and these must be issued later this year. These are the first and some of the most complex because they involves six parties, are technically challenging, and have a high value (530 million Euro). To help assure that the technical specification is correct and complete, the External Conductor Procurement Review Committee was formed. This committee of external experts met for the first time in late April and will continue until a final version is accepted by both the IO and the DA's. Other equally critical procurement packages will follow in early 2008 (including magnet structures and the vacuum vessel) and in 2009 the packages for internal components like the blanket and divertor will be issued.
Following a previous meeting held in Madison, Wisconsin in July 2006, participants had used their systems for analysis of a common 3-D model of a sector of ITER. Comparing the results was the main topic of the Cadarache meeting. Apart from a few issues still to be resolved, the systems appear mature enough to be put into regular use. The way forward to establish a new reference model for nuclear analysis of the current ITER design was discussed. Other topics included nuclear data developments, comparisons of calculation results with new experimental measurements, and quality assurance.
As part of this meeting, IO and EU representatives visited the Doosan and Hyundai heavy industry facilities in Korea. These companies manufactured major components of the KSTAR tokamak.
Since then, a second meeting was held in Cadarache (May 10-11) with EU and KO representatives, where the Vacuum Vessel procurement scheme was discussed in more detail. Earlier in the week, KO industry representatives visited several industrial facilities in Europe.
On 24 April, a briefing meeting organized jointly by Agence ITER France and the IO was held in the Château de Cadarache, to inform ITER parents on progress on the International School Manosque. The new school will open on the premises of the Lycée Les Iscles in September 2007. The parents chose six representatives to liaise with the ITER Organization and Agence ITER France, the International School, and relevant regional educational authorities. The representatives will play an important role in the intensive consultations between all parties that are required in the preparation of the International School Manosque.
Special sessions were devoted to the identification of outstanding work needed in the field of irradiation effects on diagnostic components for ITER, on progress in the field of first mirror research and on a review of candidate diagnostic techniques for measuring confined and escaping alpha particles. Part of the ongoing ITER design review is an assessment of the integrated measurement capability. This will be carried out as a high priority topic over the next few months.
The US Department of Energy's Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC), which advises the US Government on its policy on developing fusion energy, will start focussing on DEMO, the demonstration fusion power plant envisaged to be constructed after ITER. At a recent meeting, the FESAC was charged with "identifying issues arising in a path to DEMO, with ITER as a central part of that effort". FESAC is chaired by Stewart Prager of the University of Wisconsin. FESAC was asked to "identify and prioritize the broad scientific and technical questions to be answered prior to a DEMO; to assess available means (inventory), including all existing and planned facilities around the world as well as theory and modelling, to address these questions; and to identify research gaps and how they may be addressed through new facility concepts, theory and modelling." FESAC established a panel, under the chairmanship of Martin Greenwald (MIT) to respond to this charge and to report back by October 1.
For two weeks, ITER IT specialist Carlo Capuano worked together with the Indian team to set up the collaboration and to create the basis of the new application, which will be the future reference point of ITER information and documentation.
The TAG is made up of a maximum of 12 experts selected by the DG and PDDG from leading fusion scientists and technical managers from industries and laboratories who have been involved in projects comparable in size and scope to ITER. The current chairman is Dr. Michel Huguet, former Deputy Director of the ITER Joint Central Team and Head of Site at the Naka Joint Work Site in Japan.
Items discussed included the status of the ITER Organization including technical coordination of activities, budget and resources, the status of the design review, the integrated project schedule, status and organization of procurements and an overview of the development of the ITER Departments.
The meeting included visits to several Korean industrial companies—the Korean Power Engineering Company KOPEC and DOOSAN Heavy Industries & Construction—and the headquarters of the National Fusion Research Center NFRC, with a tour of the KSTAR facility. The meeting participants included representatives from all seven Participant Teams, five members of the ITER Organization, and numerous people from the industrial firms KOPEC and KINS, and the NFRC.
TFTR was the first of the three large tokamaks (TFTR, JET and JT-60) to begin operation, on 24 December, 1982. For the next 15 years, TFTR operation performed at the frontier of fusion research. In 1996, the US fusion budget was cut by 35% forcing a restructuring of the US fusion program that resulted in the premature termination of TFTR operation on 4 April 1997.
TFTR achieved all of the original project goals and made numerous contributions to fusion physics and the understanding of tokamaks.
Nine employees affiliated with the U.S. ITER Project have been assigned to the site in the South of France and are working with the ITER Organization.U.S. ITER "secondees" in Cadarache include Dennis Baker, who has spent the previous 34 years of his professional career supporting the DOE's Savannah River Site. He has experience in reactor operations support, safety analysis, and safety basis development. He helped develop DOE's Magnetic Fusion Safety Standards and was seconded to ITER in the Safety Division in San Diego during the project's engineering design phase. In France, he is in the safety group developing and defending the ITER safety basis.
"This assignment has been an adventure," Baker said. "I have enjoyed the technical work and have already been given assignments with considerable significance. For example, I updated the general ITER confinement strategy and participated in presentations on it to the Safety Working Group of the Design Review Activity and the French Nuclear Regulatory Authority in Paris."
"I have also very much enjoyed working with people from other countries and experiencing the culture of the Region of Provence. I have joined a choir at the Darius Milhaud National Conservatory of Music in Aix en Provence, which has afforded the opportunity to meet many new friends in the area," he added.
"I'm also living away from family, and I'm working to get comfortable finding and eating in restaurants, etc. After work, I consider myself a hunter-gatherer, spending my evenings seeking out places to eat or feeling my way through grocery stores studying microwaveable dinners."
Before ITER can be established formally as an International Organization, the ITER Joint Implementation Agreement needs to be ratified (or approved, depending on local requirements) by the governments of the ITER Parties. The current status is that the governments of five ITER Parties have either ratified or approved the ITER Agreement: the EU (represented by EURATOM), Japan, Korea, India and the US. In the Russian Federation and China, the process has not been concluded yet.