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Of Interest

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Carlos Alejaldre, ITER Deputy Director General
I am both happy and proud to announce that the so called DAC files (Demande d'Autorisation de Création) which include the Preliminary Safety Report (Rapport Preliminaire de Sûreté, RPrS) will be signed by Director General Kaname Ikeda today and then sent off to the French Nuclear Authorities. The RPrS together with the Impact Study are the principal documents supporting the application for the licensing of the ITER construction. The RPrS consists of two volumes, (a) the description of the facility and its environment and (b) the preliminary safety demonstration (see article below).

In a one-and-a-half year long effort, the RPrS was put together by AREVA TA under contract from CEA/Agence ITER France (AIF) in continuous interaction with ITER Project Office Safety Group that coordinated the contributions of Technical Departments. After an internal review process, the RPrS was sent to the Safety Commission set up by the IO Safety Control Section led by Lina Rodriguez. This commission consisted of a panel of independent experts, external to the IO, who provided their comments which were then discussed at meetings between the panel and IO. The review by the Safety Commission was completed in December 2007 and consequently updated based on the results of the review.

The RPrS has been written and will be printed in both French and English. The French document will be submitted to the French Nuclear Authorities. As soon as the English version is finalised it will be sent out to all the ITER Members. Once accepted by the French Authorities, the DAC files will then be presented to the public in a Public Enquiry.

So, the signature and the concluding submission of the files clearly signify the formal start of the licensing process. With this we have passed another important milestone on our way to the realization of ITER.

PF Insert Coil being installed into the bore of the CS Model Coil in the test facility at Naka, JAEA.
A test coil wound with a prototype superconductor for the ITER Poloidal Field (PF) coil was installed on 24 January 2008 in the test facility at the Naka Fusion Institute of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).

The test coil, named "PF Insert Coil", has been wound by Europe using a superconductor supplied by Russia. It was transported from the UK, where the coil winding was performed, to Naka for testing last year.

The PF Insert Coil has an outer diameter of 1.6 m, a height of 3.4 m and a weight of 6 tons. The test facility at Naka has unique features, including the CS Model Coil, which can provide test conditions similar to those in the ITER operation in terms of a large current in both DC and pulse and a high magnetic field in a large volume. The installation was performed by JAEA with a witness from the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA). As a next step, connections of cryogenic pipes, electric bus-bars and instrumentations will be performed. The PF Insert Coil will then be cooled to 4 K (-269ºC) in May using a 5 kW refrigerator.

A series of tests are planned for about two months, including charges to a maximum current of 52 kA and a maximum magnetic field of 7 T to explore operational limits, while a nominal operating condition of the ITER PF coil is 45 kA and 6 T. These tests will be performed jointly by the ITER Organization, EU and JA, and their results will be used to finalize the design parameters of the PF conductor and to start its procurement. The successful installation of the PF Insert Coil, therefore, represents an important step in the qualification of the PF conductor performance.

Seeking an international consensus on the mitigation of Edge Localized Modes (ELMs), more than 40 specialists from around the world participated in a tele-video conference organized by the ITER Organization in Cadarache last Friday.

One of the main issues discussed was whether the current plan for ELM mitigation is sufficient to ensure the success of the ITER mission and in particular, whether coils to induce Resonant Magnetic Perturbations (RMP) located in the vacuum vessel water-cooling channel should be incorporated into the design. The IO has been evaluating the technical feasibility of incorporating such RMP coils.

Learning about the treasures of the French language.
When Shawn Simpson, who is American but has lived all over the world, joined the Welcome Office of Iter France, one and a half years ago, her goal was to make sure that the first ITER arrivals got the French "survival" course to get by in France for the bare essentials.

Shawn, who is Training Project Manager at the Agence Iter France Welcome Office, started out her professional life in a very different area. She has a Masters in Roman Archaeology and as such she was part of underwater diving teams for Roman shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. She then gave her career a different spin, got a Masters in the Management of Service Activities and became an adult teacher, something she has been doing for the last 20 years, with a strong focus on intercultural issues. That experience of course was invaluable in setting up the ITER Language Program she is responsible for.

The Program is designed to have ITER pupils reach a basic level, which Shawn defines as being able to ask and answer simple questions, give information about oneself ( name, address, etc.), go shopping, make a doctor' s appointment etc.

In 2007, 170 people enrolled for the courses, all of them new ITER employees and their families, and this number will no doubt grow with another 90 people arriving at ITER in the first half of 2008. Even before their arrival in France, these new employees will be asked to fill in a "Training Needs Analysis Form." Based on that form and on an individual assessment discussion, Shawn will then propose a language program to best fit the needs of every individual.

The program proposes a variety of modules such as group courses, individual multimedia sessions and private tuition but also includes seminars about the practical and cultural aspects of life in France, such as:

How to fill in administrative forms French wines Where to go on holidays in France French songs French stereotype Some of these, with practical info on daily life will be recurrent.

Combining this mix of language courses and seminars with an already very full work agenda definitely is a challenge. It demands considerable motivation and discipline but it is really worth the effort. "Somebody with standard language skills, who is willing to put in the average 5 hours per week that it takes to participate in the program, will find that after about 6 months he can go to the market, the doctor or the post office without help," says Shawn, "which makes life in France much easier and even more enjoyable."

ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda welcoming the new arrivals and their families.
More and more new people from all over the world are joining the rapidly expanding ITER team in Cadarache, and the demand for information and assistance in organizing the relocation and settling in of families is increasing accordingly. To meet and greet these new employees and their spouses, get to know the faces and try to answer all the questions, the ITER France Welcome Office last Thursday 23 January organized its first Welcome Seminar at the Château de Cadarache.

ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda warmly greeted the about 30 newcomers that were invited and then gave an comprehensive overview of what ITER is all about, especially for the spouses, who no doubt hear, but not necessarily know, a lot about the ins and outs of the ITER project. His presentation was followed by a wealth of information to help families settle in, such as how to find a home, get a car, get the administrative paperwork done, learn French and enjoy life in the Provence.

The group then took a bus to have a look at the ITER construction site and get a feel for how much, how big and what a challenge the ITER project really is. Fitted with boots, helmets and safety jackets they had a walk over the sandy hill where digging will start next year to build the tokamak to get a sense for the work that needs to be done.

After their retorn the group had a bite together and shared their impressions. "It is important to create this opportunity for the newcomers to get to know one another and give them the practical information they need to settle in as quickly as possible," says Emmanuelle Bellange, Welcome Office Manager. This is only the first one of a long series of seminars to fit the needs of the newcomers even better."

Work has started on the access to the ITER site.
Anyone who has recently driven from Cadarache to Vinon-Sur-Verdon has seen it: the start of ITER roundabout construction. The works on the future main entrance to the ITER site started last November. Over the last two months, the company APPIA 13, part of the French group EIFFAGE, already completed a large part of the ground works for the roundabout that will measure 28 metres in radius.

Starting early February there will only be a one-lane-traffic due to the road works. However, Agence ITER France (AIF), who is in charge of the project, will try to optimize the free circulation of traffic during this stage of construction.

According to Jean Michel Bottereau, responsible for the Project within AIF: "This is a part of the construction which is very obvious to the public. It clearly marks the access to the construction site and the future ITER offices."

ELMs in fusion language is an acronym for Edge Localized Modes. ELMs behave rather like solar flares where a huge burst of energy erupts out of the magnetic field confining the sun (itself a huge ball of plasma). They are bad news for fusion experiments as they cause the plasma to lose up to 10% of its energy.This "lost" plasma is mainly deposited on one part of the experiment casing - the divertor - which can be damaged over time by these repetitive bursts of energy. Therefore, the control of ELMs is an important issue for the ITER team.

The ELMs phenomenon was first observed in a German fusion experiment, ASDEX, in 1981. They occur in fusion machines, of which ITER will be the biggest in the world when it comes into operation, when the plasma is heated above a certain power level which increases with density, magnetic field and machine size.

The injection of pellets of deuterium ice into the plasma has been shown to be effective in reducing the loss of plasma energy by ELMs. Experiments in support of ITER involving this technique are due to be carried out in the European tokamaks, JET and ASDEX-Upgrade, during their next period of operations.

Listen to the sounds of density fluctuations due to ELM bursts in a Swiss tokamak: (Editor's note: no longer available).

The signal has been slowed down so that ELMs appear at a rate of five per second whilst in reality they are nearer two hundred per second. (Courtesy of CRPP EPFL).

Looking for you: The ITER international team.
As the ITER Organization is picking up speed, people from all over the world are coming to join us in sunny Provence to be part of this thrilling human adventure. Building the ITER device requires the best people in every domain and we want to make sure that the best people know we are looking for them.

So help us find them, help us spread this message as widely as you can, to your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to do the same. All information on open positions at ITER can be found at

If you are interested, or know anybody who might be, this is what we have to offer:

- be part of one of the greatest international science projects, a stimulating, multi-national work environment - true cultural diversity as a key driver of the project - excellent quality of life in the beautiful South of France - an international school for children from age 4 to 18

In issue Nr. 14 of the ITER Newsline we reported on the KSTAR Inauguration Ceremony in Korea. In the article we incorrectly addressed the President of the National Fusion Research Institute. His name is not Mr. Shik, of course, but Mr. Jae-In Shin. We apologize for the mistake.