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ITER NEWSLINE 134
Members of the ITER Magnet Division last month spent a week at the Institute of Plasma Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei where work is being performed as part of the collaboration on the design of the magnet feeders. The team witnessed the first bending and insulation trials on conductor dummy lengths that will be used within the "S-bend boxes" that form part of the electrical connections to the magnets from the galleries around the tokamak, providing flexibility for thermal contraction as the magnets are cooled to liquid helium temperatures.
Also, prototype conductor jacket sections for ITER's central solenoid have been produced by the Baosteel company in Shanghai. As part of the CERN-ITER collaboration, two CERN members carried out an ultrasonic inspection for cracks of 30 prototype 316LN (low carbon) central solenoid jacket sections produced by Baosteel under an ITER contract. The sections will be shipped to Japan for a compaction operation at the jacketing line in Kyushu before being sent to US ITER at Oak Ridge for preliminary winding trials.
In parallel, the final stage cabling of the first production of a full 760-metre unit length of ITER's toroidal field conductor was completed at the Hitachi Cable facility in Hitachi, Japan. The twelve-hour operation started at 4 p.m. and finished at 4 a.m., with members of ITER's Magnet Division and the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) attending.
This week, the Vacuum Vessel Division and many people including external support staff of the CAD and Design Coordination Division had reason to take a deep breath and open a bottle. All the 3D models for the ITER vacuum vessel including the detailed models of the ports and the in-wall shielding have been completed and were handed over to the corresponding Domestic Agencies in charge of manufacturing the components.
That's Europe, who will procure seven of the nine vacuum vessel sectors; Korea, who will procure the remaining two sectors plus the equatorial and the lower ports; the Russian Federation who will procure the upper ports; and India for the manufacture of the in-wall shielding that will protect the tokamak components from neutron radiation and help optimize the plasma performance.
"We are very pleased, as the delivery of all the models is a very important milestone in order to meet the ITER construction schedule," said Kimihiro Ioki, Head of the Vacuum Vessel Division. "The models are very important for Europe for the tendering process which is now going on. We expect the contract to be awarded in October this year. For India and Russia it is the same situation ... the contract will be awarded to industry in July. The Korean Domestic Agency has already awarded the contract."
On Friday 4 June, the first Procurement Arrangement for the ITER cryo-system was signed. The contract worth approximately EUR 5.4 million will be procured by the Indian Domestic Agency and covers the cryolines that will provide cooling power for all the ITER components that have to operate at cryogenic temperatures. At minus 269 degrees Celsius, that's pretty cool.
The ITER cryosystem will be the second largest in the world after the cooling system for the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The key challenges for the ITER system lie with its complex geometry and its capability to function in pulsed operation. The component will be built into the cryoplant and will be required in June 2013. That is why the contract, signed by ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda, was rushed by priority mail to India.
In the early twentieth century, the Physical and Technical Institute, later named the Ioffe Institute after its first Director, was founded on the banks of the Neva in St. Petersburg for the development of what was then a relatively young science in Russia—physics. The fascinating 90-year history of this institute that survived a turbulent century in Russia to become a world-class physics research centre, home to five Nobel Prize winners, is retraced for us by Alexander Petrov from the Russian Domestic Agency for ITER.
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One year ago, in June 2009, following the recommendations of the Management Advisory Committee (MAC), the ITER Project Office was restructured and split into two. The aim of the reorganization was a better definition of responsibilities and a strengthening of the Office's project management functions such as cost, schedule and in-kind management. In parallel, a new office was created to oversee technical coordination and management of the engineering activities: the Office for Central Integration & Engineering (CIE).
One look at the project's organizational chart leaves no doubt that the responsibilities of this newly-created office are immense. With nearly 120 staff, it is in fact the biggest office within the ITER Organization. It oversees and coordinates all matters related to design integration and systems engineering, the Design Office, nuclear safety issues such as the completion of the Preliminary Safety Report, assembly and operation issues and environmental aspects. In addition, an external relations section coordinates all activities related to internal and external bodies, and a Technical Integration Division that manages the development and maintenance of the technical baseline documents.
"CIE played the leading role in producing the Project Baseline that defines ITER's mission," says CIE Office Head Eisuke Tada. Every change request formulated by the various technical divisions and sections - large or small — is dealt with by CIE, following a standardized control board procedure that examines the requests and either accepts or rejects them.
Since the comprehensive Design Review in 2007-2008, Tada's team has dealt with 210 project change requests. Thirty-four others are "ongoing," mostly concerning smaller issues with no implications for the procurement of long lead items or the project's overall schedule.
So, as most of the major project change requests are behind us, and issue flags have turned from red to green on the weekly Project Progress Meeting chart making progress visible in bright colour, what remains to be done? What are the next big peaks to climb, Mr. Tada? "We will be involved with the upcoming Public Enquiry, which is part of our nuclear licensing process. Another thing on our agenda is to solve some hickups in the day-to-day cooperation between the central Design Office here in Cadarache and the drawing offices in the Domestic Agencies."
When we speak about ITER, we sometimes refer to it being a world-spanning team. To actually work out the details of this team effort, to realize this image is hard work, says Tada. "But there are means to do so, as we have shown for example by implementing the Integrated Product Teams. Integration is more than a word!"
The spring 2010 EPICS collaboration meeting was hosted by the ITER Organization in Aix-en-Provence this week. EPICS stands for "Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System" and is a set of open software tools and applications used worldwide to build distributed control systems. Among the users are the tokamaks KSTAR in Korea and NSTX in the US.
EPICS has been selected as the core of ITER's control system and is distributed to the ITER community within the CODAC Core System. The EPICS collaboration meeting is organized twice per year with the purpose of allowing users of EPICS to share information and coordinate future development and collaboration.
This time the meeting attracted 120 people from 49 affiliations and companies representing 15 different countries.
"As newcomers to the EPICS community we are glad to host this meeting, and we are particular happy that we have attracted representatives from the fusion community from all seven ITER Member states," says Franck Di Maio, chair of the local organizing committee. "The worldwide collaboration on EPICS remains a very impressive success story and a great opportunity for the construction of the world-wide instrumentation and controls for ITER."
Shoko Kizawa is enjoying the food, weather and customs in Provence, following the example of all the locals. And she should! Her arrival at ITER is really a dream come true, a dream she has had since she beginning her studies—to work for a major international organization.
After one year as an exchange student in the US (Kansas), Shoko went on to graduate with a BA in Policy Studies specializing in cultural differences from the Chuo University in Tokyo. She spent eight years working as an Administrative Officer for different research institutes in Japan: the RIKEN Yokohama Institute, the J-PARC Centre and the Takasaki Advanced Radiation Research Institute, and the last two years at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).
It was through the JAEA that she first heard about ITER and the opportunity of moving to France. "To me," says Shoko, "working for ITER meant working with intelligent and fascinating people from different countries and making myself useful to this marvellous project."
It was also an opportunity to discover many new things. Shoko was so busy at her former job that she hardly had time to consider the challenges that would come with moving to Provence: the language, the people, the customs. Now that she has spent some time in France, she happily confirms that coming here was the best decision of her life.
At ITER, Shoko is the secretary for the Technical Integration Division of the Office for Central Integration and Engineering. She is one of two non-European secretaries on staff. Among other things, her job consists of organizing business trips, welcoming newcomers and visitors, preparing for meetings, entering purchase requests into the system and keeping up with contract executions.
In her new life in Provence, she enjoys the tastes and flavours of French cuisine and is trying to learn the language as best she can. A lot of her spare time has been dedicated to setting up her home and learning the language, but she hopes that soon she will be able to get back to her usual hobbies: cycling, hiking and travelling. In the meantime, she is enjoying the full experience of life in France ... just as the Provençaux do!
For two weeks in May the resort town of Cannes, on the French Riviera, is synonymous with cinema. The International Film Festival was established there in 1939 but the outbreak of World War II postponed its first edition to 1946. For the past 64 years, Cannes' Golden Palm has been one of the most coveted prizes in the film industry.
Not as famous and considerably less glamorous than Cannes, another seaside town in Provence is also closely linked to the history of cinema. Thirty kilometres east of Marseille, the small town of La Ciotat, former home to one of France's largest shipyards, is considered here to be the cradle of the cinématographe—the motion picture camera and projector that the Lumière brothers invented at the end of the 19th century.
The invention of the "moving images" is claimed by many, but Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948) Lumière, whose father ran a photographic firm in Lyon, were the first to patent such significant items and processes as the portable motion-picture camera, film perforation, a film processing unit and the movie projector.
The Lumière family owned a vacation home in La Ciotat where several of their experimental films were shot. In the summer of 1895, they organized the first-ever public projection of moving pictures to an audience, featuring a piece called "Arrival of a train at La Ciotat station" and a second called the "Sprinkler sprinkled", a 49-second piece considered to be the primitive forerunner of all subsequent slapstick comedies.
The showing at the local theatre in La Ciotat was a huge success. It led Auguste and Louis to organize similar events in Paris, this time charging the public for admission. The following year, the Lumière brothers embarked on a world tour to present their cinématographe in London, New York and Buenos Aires.
Whether the Lumière brothers actually "invented" cinema can be disputed. What is certain is that they were the first to understand, and actually experiment, the potential of "moving images" as a medium of mass entertainment.