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ITER NEWSLINE 123
We also report on Sabine Portier, the French Industry Liaison Officer (one of 13 industrial interfaces in Europe) and her Deputy Philippe Olivier who have recently found a home in the Agence Iter France premises at CEA-Cadarache.
Finally, this week ITER welcomed the German ITER Industry Forum DIIF on site. More than 35 representatives from German companies came to Cadarache to be briefed by the various responsible officers and division heads of the ITER project and the procurement department of the European Domestic Agency in Barcelona. "It was rather like 'speed dating' with ITER," one participant remarked at the end of the day.
The primary survey network consists of 11 permanent survey pillars positioned on the periphery of the worksite. These pillars will be used as fixed reference points to define the global coordinate system for civil engineering works, and to provide a stable reference for monitoring purposes. The network will evolve as the project develops and in the future will provide the global data for an enhanced reference system to be installed within the Tokamak Building.
To ensure the stability of the pillars, they will be constructed around micro piles with foundations in bedrock at a minimum depth of 8 metres. This week, ITER's contractor GDV Ingenieurgesellschaft Holst mbH and their sub-contractor VIT Verbau und Injektionstechnik GmbH have been setting out the position of the survey pillars and installing the micro piles. The construction of the pillars themselves will occur in the next few weeks. Following a period of stabilization, the positions of the survey pillars will be precisely measured.
These are some of the figures that Jérôme Paméla, who was appointed Director of Agence Iter France (AIF) last December, presented to the public at last Thursday's Inside ITER Seminar on "The French Commitment to the ITER Project."
A "specific entity" of CEA, AIF was established in June 2006, one year almost to the day after the ITER Members agreed on the Cadarache site. AIF was entrusted with several missions. Certain spectacular, like the preparation of the ITER site; others less visible but no less crucial to the project, like collecting the financial contribution of the host country and local governments.
As the Site Support Agreement between ITER Organization, CEA and AIF is being implemented, providing ITER with a significant support from CEA, AIF has entered what Jérôme Paméla calls "a year of transition." In June, it will hand over the new JWS3 building to the ITER Organization; construction of the permanent Headquarters will begin in July and the entire ITER site will be officially transferred to the ITER Organization before the end of summer.
Beyond 2010, AIF will continue to play a key role in the ITER Project as several items remain on its agenda, like site-related commitments; the coordination of the ITER Itinerary; the continuation of the Welcome Office activities; support to industry, and biodiversity issues.
As a CEA entity, it will remain a "strong asset" that acts "as a bridge between ITER and CEA" and an efficient interface between the project and the Host Country.
Algeria is presently the world's fifth largest natural gas producer and ranks 13th in oil production. Fuel exports account for 98 percent of the country's income.
"Fossil fuels will soon be considered a thing of the past," says Abdelkader El Mekki. "By 2040 renewable energies, most of them solar, should cover 30 percent of our energy needs."
Sunshine provides the vast Sahara region of Algeria with energy equivalent to 1200 kWh per square metre per year, which represents the highest potential of the whole Mediterranean Basin.
The European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy (F4E) has launched its new online industry portal. The portal is a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to find F4E operational calls for tender as the search function allows users to search on the title, reference number, stage of procedure or status. F4E's industry portal also includes a supplier database which allows companies to register, thus giving them a greater visibility at F4E. It is also useful for companies looking for partners and wanting to network. In the near future, the database will also give registered companies visibility at other ITER Domestic Agencies.
The industry portal offers links to key reference documents and contacts details to all national industrial liaison officers and their F4E/ITER initiatives. Links for ITER procurement pages and contacts for the other ITER Domestic Agencies are available as well. The "Announcement" section of the portal serves as a message board to remind of upcoming deadlines for calls and future procurement-related meetings.
F4E's industry portal will continue to develop—future plans include allowing users to answer calls for tender electronically via the website.
The industry portal is available as a quick link on the homepage of the F4E website.
Mission ITER was established in the summer of 2006 to implement France's commitments to ITER. Creating the 106-kilometre-long ITER Itinerary and the International School in Manosque were the two most visible of these commitments, but there were others: ITER-related professional training; industrial mobilization for the ITER project; environmental protection; and land planning and development policies were also among the Mission's responsibilities.
These tasks are now accomplished. Mission ITER's personnel have been reintegrated, or reassigned, into various government services and agencies in charge of regional development. In the case of Sabine Portier, the Industry Liaison Officer, and her Deputy Philippe Olivier, they have found a new home in the Agence Iter France premises at CEA-Cadarache.
Moving out of Marseille has not fundamentally changed their mission, except for the "added value" that goes with working close to the ITER site. "Our job is to mobilize industry," they explain. "Basically, we're acting as an interface. We help potential contractors to access information, particularly on tenders floated by the ITER Organization or the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy; we also help in facilitating partnerships between French and foreign companies at the European or global level ..."
Sabine and Philippe can rely on an efficient structure: the French ITER Industrial Committee (C2I) that was established in 2006 and presently includes some 300 companies—all eager to work for the ITER Project. Companies that participate in business forums, like the one that was organized last December at Aix-en-Provence and Cadarache, are invited to join C2I in order to benefit from a wide range of services.
All together, the six neighbouring départements, the Greater Aix Council and the PACA Regional Council agreed to pledge EUR 467 million to ITER. A large part of this budget has already been used to build the International School in Manosque, the ITER Itinerary and also to fund various ITER-related development projects in the Durance Valley.
Having committed EUR 152 million, the PACA Regional Council is one of the two major local contributors to the ITER Project. Of that sum, about half has yet to be spent.
When the last regional elections were held in 2004, the victorious Socialist/Green alliance devised the so-called "Alter-ITER Agreement": For each euro spent by the Regional Council on ITER — with the exception of the money allocated to the International School —, one euro would be spent on an alternative energy project.
As regional elections are being held to renew the Council, Europe-Écologie—a new environmentalist movement that includes the Greens—has raised the question of regional participation in the funding of ITER. It has acknowledged, however, that since the money was pledged there is no turning back: it will go to ITER as originally intended.
As compensation, Europe-Écologie has obtained from its Socialist allies an upgraded "Alter-ITER" type agreement. For each "ITER euro," two euros will now go to alternative energy projects.
Despite the large headlines in the local press recently and outcry from several sides, not a thing will change for ITER: the sums allocated by the Regional Council are not affected by the Socialist/ Europe-Écologie alliance.
As Michel Vauzelle, the current President of the PACA Regional Council, declared as he was handing out leaflets on Thursday 18 March at the entrance of CEA-Cadarache: "Our agreement is perfectly clear. The Regional Council will stick to its initial commitment."
Okuno is based at the JA-DA Headquarters in Naka, Japan where he is Responsible Officer for Japanese magnet procurement. Magnets represent the largest portion of Japan's engagements for ITER; on these long-lead items, procurement is already in motion. "On behalf of the JA-DA, I interface with ITER on the one hand," explains Okuno, "and with Japanese industry on the other." Okuno is the second Liaison Officer from the JA-DA, following Kenichi Ueno who returned to Japan last month.
During his five-week stay at ITER, Okuno will be addressing important issues related to magnet as well as other Japanese procurement, working closely with ITER colleagues in Cadarache. Japan is responsible for procuring 100 percent of the central solenoid conductors, 25 percent of toroidal field conductors, and a share of toroidal field coils.
Okuno's expertise in magnets is the result of a life-time career spent in the field. Following a Master's in Nuclear Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1979, he joined the Japanese Atomic Energy Research Institute (now the Japan Atomic Energy Agency), where he conducted research on large-scale and high-field superconducting magnets, and niobium-titanium and niobium-tin conductors.
From 1985-1987 he was put in charge of the Large Coil Task project at the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which involved the USA, Japan, Euratom and Switzerland. In this ITER-like collaborative experiment, six different D-shaped, steady-state coils were separately designed and built by the participants, and shipped to Oak Ridge for extensive testing. The designs all worked well, proving that huge superconducting magnets were feasible for large applications such as ITER.
Okuno returned to Naka to oversee another magnet testing project—this time for pulsed magnet technology similar to ITER's central solenoid. The Japanese Demo Poloidal Coil (DPC) project was in its design phase; Okuno managed the project throughout fabrication and operation.
He joined the Engineering Design Activities (EDA) for ITER at the Naka Joint Work Site in 1992, where he worked side-by-side with the current head of the Magnet Division at ITER, Neil Mitchell. Okuno had operating responsibility for the toroidal field and central solenoid model coil programs, and was acting group leader for the full-scale coil project. He worked closely at the time with the other ITER Joint Work Sites in San Diego and Garching.
In 2001, Okuno became Head for the Superconducting Magnets Laboratory in Naka, whose main objective was to advance R&D for ITER magnets and to prepare for procurement. "Between the design of the magnets and their manufacture," emphasizes Okuno "there is a lot to do. Following the signature of the Procurement Arrangement, we need to establish detailed manufacturing designs."
Okuno has authored several major scientific papers on magnet-related topics. "I have been involved with ITER, and before ITER with large magnets, for decades, and I hope to still be around to see the project come to fruition," says Okuno. There's nothing simple about the ITER Project ... but I can definitely say that with strong will and effort, we'll be able to overcome the obstacles and succeed."
On 16 March, the Korean Ambassador to France, Heun-Shin Park, came to visit ITER. Mr. Park was accompanied by the First Secretary of commercial affairs from the Korean Embassy in Paris. After a welcome by ITER Deputy Director-General Kim Yong-Hwan from the Central Engineering & Plant Support Department, ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda introduced him to the project and invited him on a site tour.
Following this guided tour, Mr. Park met the twenty-seven Korean staff members at ITER to thank them for their engagement and their contribution to the project stressing its importance for the development of a future energy source.
After exchanging technical information, the discussion continued about the staff's experience living in France.
The Convergence Plasma Research Center will be constructed in three stages; the first started today and is expected to be completed in August 2011, with a construction cost of 13 billion won ($11.4 million). The total plot of ground is about 60,000 squared meters in the Gunjang National Industrial Complex of Gunsan (located about 275 kilometers south-west of Seoul).
The new centre is to undertake a function of the nation's leading laboratory for research and development on plasma and related applications. It will focus on the R&D of convergence plasma technologies such as semiconductors, displays, the environment and energy, and commercializing derivatives of fusion technologies. It will also serve as a training center and R&D hub for plasma technology.
President GS Lee in his opening remarks stated that, "By the construction of the Convergence Plasma Research Center, we will assist in the transfer of advanced fusion technologies and related applications to industry, training high caliber specialists, and creating new jobs. The Convergence Plasma Research Center can become a world centre of convergence plasma technology. With the completion of the second stage construction in 2013, the centre will be transformed into an international hub of R&D as well as industrialization in the field of plasma science."