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Of Interest

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Moving ahead with procurement

Dhiraj Bora (Click to view larger version...)
Dhiraj Bora
The work load establishing the Baseline for ITER and preparing the Procurement Arrangements for signature has not given us much time to celebrate. But last month, we took the time to raise our glasses as the ITER Collaborative Network registered the one-millionth object stored in its database. As reported in Newsline 103, this number is a good scale to measure the growth and the size of the ITER enterprise.

The CODAC group these days is another good example of what it means to work within the environment of an international organization. Among the many close interactions carried on with experts from companies and institutes in Europe, the US, China, Japan, India and Korea, a contract is now running with the Chinese Institute of Plasma Physics (ASIPP) to develop a plant system simulator. The objective of the plant system simulator is to perform technology benchmarking as well as to obtain a tool to simulate different types of plant system instrumentation and control (I&C), e.g., the control of the coil power supply or the measurement of magnet temperatures. Two simulators based on different technologies have been delivered to the ITER site and are currently being integrated into the CODAC environment by our Chinese colleagues. The next step for ASIPP is to develop a prototype of a fast controller, to be used for any plant system involved in plasma control: diagnostics to measure plasma parameters, or actuators, like fuel pellet injectors, to change the property of the plasma. The ASIPP activity is one effort out of many to standardize ITER instrumentation and control equipment. The result will be the first release of a software and hardware tool kit, called CODAC Core System v.1, to be exported to all ITER plant system instrumentation and control developers in February next year.

Our department has made all necessary preparations for signing another three or even four Procurement Arrangements before the end of this year. Though the main effort in the department was focused on the completion of the documentation for the ITER Baseline, which was presented in the series of meetings we had last month, we were able to complete the technical work as well.

In preparation for the Diagnostic Neutral Beam Power Supplies Procurement Arrangement, progress meetings have been held in which the Indian Domestic Agency presented the layout study and the heat load assessment for the power supplies. The Procurement Arrangement with Japan for its part of the heating neutral beam power supply will now be divided into two parts; one for the Neutral Beam Test Facility (NBTF) and one for the power supplies for ITER.

As we are moving ahead with procurements, the Domestic Agencies are getting prepared to build the required test facilities for the components. The Indian Domestic Agency, for example, has just held the design review for the facility in which they will test ITER's diagnostic neutral beam, especially the features of the ion source including the accelerator and all the beam line components.

Likewise, initial operation of the radio-frequency resonant ring has started at the US Domestic Agency in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on 21 October. This facility (see figure) will be used to test prototypes of various components of the ion cyclotron heating and current drive transmission line and matching system.

In Italy, the technical specification for the high voltage deck and transmission lines of SPIDER has been prepared. SPIDER is the test bed at the Neutral Beam Test Facility in Padua that will test the full size ITER ion source.

Last but not least, a personal word. After leading the diagnostics effort on ITER for more than 15 years, Dr. Alan Costley will be retiring as the head of the ITER Diagnostics Division at the end of this month. Dr. Michael Walsh from JET will take over from him as of 1 December. Speaking on behalf of the entire department, I want to thank Alan for his outstanding work and wish him all the best for the future.

return to Newsline #106