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"After work, I consider myself a hunter-gatherer"

-By Cindy Lundi, US ITER

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."


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