Every time a nuclear installation is created, French law requires that a Local Commission for Information (CLI) be established.
The mission of a CLI is to act as an interface between the installation's operator and the local population. An independent body, it is composed of representatives from local government, environmental groups, trade unions, businesses and health professionals. All are appointed by the President of the Conseil Général (the Department's executive assembly).
Anything that the public feels it should know falls under the jurisdiction of the CLI. A CLI can request from the Operator any documents deemed necessary, or call on independent laboratories to proceed with environmental and health investigations. The CLI must be consulted on any new project undertaken in the scope of the installation's evolution. CLIs are financed equally by the French Nuclear Safety Agency (ASN) and the local governments.
On Monday last week, 32 out the 42 members of the ITER CLI gathered at the Château de Cadarache for the Commission's formal inauguration.
"We are eager to establish with you a trusting and transparent relationship," said ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda in his welcoming address. "I see the CLI as an opportunity for mutual understanding, a place where any question can be asked and all answers will be provided."
Following DG Ikeda's presentation—in French—Laurent Roy, the ASN Territorial Delegate, stressed the importance of the CLIs as the expression of "the right of citizens to freely access information that is dependable."
The ITER CLI, to which Robert Pizot, the Mayor of Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, has been appointed President, will convene again on 24 February 2010 to form an Executive Board and decide on a work program for the coming year.
The European Domestic Agency "Fusion for Energy" alone has a purchase budget of EUR 400 million to invest over the next two years. So it is understandable that interest in conducting business with ITER is high. This week, almost 600 industrial representatives from all over France came together in the Palais de Congrès in Aix-en-Provence to find out how to do business with and for ITER.
Organized by Mission ITER, the participants of the "Rencontres d'affaires ITER" first learned the "who's who" of the ITER Project and its satellites in France and Europe: Thierry Brosseron, Administrative Director of Agence Iter France gave the audience an update on site preparations; Jacques Farineau, ITER Senior Advisor for Industrial Matters gave an introduction on the structure of the ITER Organization; Francoise Flament, Head of Contracts and Procurements, drew the roadmap for the call-for-tender process; and Philippe Correa, Francoise's equivalent at "Fusion for Energy," gave additional perspective on the months and years to come.
Finally, Bernard Bigot, the President of the French ITER Industrial Committee and General Administrator of the CEA, addressed the audience stressing the importance of the ITER Project. "It is the responsibility of our generation to make this project a success," Bigot said. "It is time that we mobilize the industrial potential."
Significant industrial progress has been made in Japan relative to the toroidal field coils and the toroidal field coil structures, for which the Procurement Arrangements were signed with Japan in November 2008.
Last week, representatives of the Toroidal Field Coil Section from the ITER Organization and responsible officers from the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in Naka joined together to visit Toshiba in Yokohama and Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe for an unforgettable progress meeting on these procurements.
A winding machine is now in place at the Toshiba factory. It is in the course of being commissioned, which will allow the commencement of winding trials soon. These trials, foreseen by the Procurement Arrangement, are an essential step before continuing on to the fabrication of a one-third scale dummy double pancake. JAEA requires this reduced-scale dummy from its main contractor prior to the fabrication of a full-scale double pancake.
At Kawasaki Heavy Industry, another terrific surprise awaited the visitors: a short piece of toroidal field coil case was viewed (picture 1) and the visitors met with technicians who were working on welding trials for the pre-compression ring flange (picture 2) that is attached to the coil case. These preparatory works precede the tasks defined in Phase II of the coil structures Procurement Arrangement. Kawasaki Heavy Industry presented its preliminary manufacturing plan for the coil structures, which demonstrated its understanding of the challenging technical requirements.
On 6 December, the Fusion Power Associates convened in the venerable Capitol Hill Club in Washington D.C. to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Besides talks on the status of the ITER Project delivered by Norbert Holtkamp, ITER Principal Deputy Director-General, and Ned Sauthoff, Head of the US ITER Domestic Agency, representatives of the world's large tokamaks and most of the American fusion labs gave a status quo report. On 11 December, Kunihisa Soda, Deputy Chairman of the Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission in Japan, accompanied by Motokuni Eto, Technical Counsellor Secretariat of the Safety Commission, came to visit ITER. The visitors were not only interested in safety-related issues, but also in the progress made on the project," said Mr. Soda, who had been involved in the preparatory phase of the ITER Project in Garching. Delivery of the last major components for the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device, now being built at the Greifswald branch of Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP), marks completion of the industrial manufacture of the main elements. The last two sections of the outer casing are at IPP in Greifswald. Assembly of the large-scale experiment is now in full swing.
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|Next year, the conceptual design activity for the ITER plasma control system (PCS) will be launched. In order to discuss the lessons learned over the years in plasma control and their application to ITER, a 3.5-day Plasma Control Workshop was organized this week in Cadarache, which brought together plasma control experts from the fusion devices in each of the ITER Member states. The main goal of the Workshop was to investigate how best to exploit existing plasma control experience in the design and development of the ITER plasma control system, as well as the foreseen time schedule for its development and its integration into CODAC and associated systems.
Due to the scale and complexity of ITER, the plasma control system must be robust, with extensive quality assurance and prior testing, necessitating a timely launching of the design activities. The experience gained through operation of existing devices utilizing a variety of approaches to and implementations of plasma control will be invaluable for the definition of the scope and goals of the conceptual and engineering design phase of the ITER system.
The Plasma Control Workshop was very well attended with representatives from all seven ITER Member states plus EFDA (European Fusion Development Agreement), as well as 30 plasma control experts from outside the ITER Organization. ITER Organization members from the Fusion Science & Technology Department, CODAC, and the Office for Central Integration & Engineering brought the total participant list to about 50 people.
Overall, there was broad agreement on a phased approach beginning with relatively simple control schemes, yet building in from the beginning a powerful architecture that retains the required flexibility to be able to easily expand the complexity of the control schemes as ITER operation evolves. A preliminary roadmap for the conceptual design of the ITER plasma control system was also agreed, making this a very successful workshop.
There are more than 400 kilometres of power cables winding through the ITER installation. Whether medium or low power, whether they feed the plants or the diagnostic systems, they all share "cable trays" that have to be designed very carefully.
"In order to optimize cable management," says Joël Hourtoule, ITER's Steady State Electrical Network (SSEN) Section Leader, "one needs to collect information from all the different users of all the different cables. It is a complex task for which KOPEC, the Korea Power Engineering Company, is providing support in the preparatory work."
Last week, ITER Deputy Director-General Yong Hwan Kim and representatives from the Electrical Engineering Division (EED) and Integration group (CIE) flew to Korea for a six-day visit. The program included meetings in Seoul, at KOPEC headquarters; a visit to Daejeon where the Korean Domestic Agency and K-STAR are located; and a walk-by of the near completed Shin-Gori nuclear power plant in the southern region of the country.
In Seoul, Deputy Director-General Kim, Joël Hourtoule and Ingo Kuehn (Technical Integration Division), gave presentations on different aspects of the ITER Project.
KOPEC presented the work already performed for ITER and meetings were held in order to decide on the 2010 working plan.
In Shin-Gori, KOPEC delivered an impressive demonstration on their nuclear experience. Particularly interesting for ITER are the integrated processes the company implements to manage the different stages in the construction of a nuclear power plant. "This will prove very useful," says Ingo Kuehn, "in view of the upcoming implementation of an engineering database in the ITER Project."
Last week, it was the ITER Administration Department's turn to raise its glass as it reached—perhaps not the "Big Bang"—but nonetheless an important milestone: the transfer of historical data into ITER's SAP data processing system.
Since the introduction of the SAP system to the ITER Organization in summer 2008, all financial data has been processed and secured in SAP. But there was, of course, data generated before that date; data that was stored in Excel sheets and other formats.
A search was launched to look for a company to take care of these historical data files containing procurement protocols or contract details. "Because of the complexity of the processes, all of the companies we asked declined, saying that is was impossible to do," remembers Hans Spoor, Head of the Finance Department, "... except for one." KPMG, a firm present in 140 countries, said "yes we can," packed their suitcases and moved into the ITER Headquarters.
Over ten months, KPMG experts worked to upload hundreds of thousands of data files from the various old records to SAP. On Tuesday, 1 December, the Administration Department managed to "go live" and the historic data upload project came to full fruition. All ITER financial data—from Day One—is now stored in identical format in one single database.
"Hello Cadarache, can you hear us?" At the sound of the voice, the small group that had assembled in one of the ITER Headquarters meeting rooms turned around and smiled at the video screen, where people gathered in other meeting rooms could be seen—at JET in the UK, at the European Commission Headquarters in Brussels, and in Greifswald, Germany. All had come together to pay tribute to the retirement of Rem Haange, Technical Director of the Stellerator project Wendelstein-7X.
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It was John How, Senior Officer for External Coordination in ITER, who read out a personal note from Robert Aymar, ITER Director from 1994 until 2003 who could not be present for the occasion. "Haange was an emblematic figure of the ITER team in Naka, and the Haange family is well-known among the 'foreign invaders' of a small Japanese village ..."