The Tokamak Department is responsible for some of the largest and most complex systems on the project, including the superconducting magnets, the vessels (vacuum vessel and cryostat) and internal components such as the blanket and divertor. Assembly and remote handling of these systems are also included. The total value of these systems is more than 2 billion Euro, so (on average) each of the 32 members of the department is responsible for 62.5 M Euro worth of equipment. Together, we are responsible for assuring that the designs of all of these systems satisfy the requirements, that the hardware and systems that are produced by the Parties satisfy our specifications (particularly regarding quality), and that they are installed and tested correctly. This is a staggering responsibility and even as the department grows (to about 42 persons by summer) the challenges for each of us will remain immense.
In the near term, the priority of the department (like in the rest of the ITER Organization) is to complete the design and issue the procurement arrangements. This is critically important because it is the first step in the procurement process for the Parties. The department is responsible for 39 packages and several of these are for critical path activities like the magnets and vacuum vessel.
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. return to Newsline #10