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From the Geneva Summit to the ITER platform

-Robert Arnoux

As an adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for Scientific Affairs, Charles Newstead played a key part in the genesis of ITER in 1985. (Click to view larger version...)
As an adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for Scientific Affairs, Charles Newstead played a key part in the genesis of ITER in 1985.
Gary Johnson, Deputy Director-General for the Tokamak Department, presented the ITER installation to Charles Newstead. Sitting next to Dr Newstead is Thierry Massart, Scientific Director CEA-DAM. (Click to view larger version...)
Gary Johnson, Deputy Director-General for the Tokamak Department, presented the ITER installation to Charles Newstead. Sitting next to Dr Newstead is Thierry Massart, Scientific Director CEA-DAM.
In 1985, when President Reagan and Secretary Gorbatchev were planning their first meeting in Geneva, Charles Newstead was an assistant to John Negroponte, then the Assistant Secretary of State for International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

In this position, he played a key role in the genesis of ITER. As a physicist, Newstead was able to convince the most reluctant members in the Reagan administration that accepting Gorbatchev's proposal of an international collaboration in fusion was not, as they feared, "giving the Russians the secret of Star Wars."

A quarter of a century later, ITER is a reality that one can touch — a reality that made Charles Newstead "feel marvellous" when he stood by the platform last Wednesday on his visit to Cadarache.

Before coming to ITER, Dr Newstead, who now serves as Senior Scientific Adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was invited to tour the Laser Mégajoule (LMJ), France's inertial fusion facility located near Bordeaux. At Cadarache, he also visited Tore Supra, the Euratom-CEA tokamak that recently resumed operations.

Over lunch, he assured his ITER hosts that he would "work as hard as [he] can to get President Obama's support for the program."

We will publish an interview with Dr Newstead in one of the next issues of Newsline.



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