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The first unit length of superconducting cable for ITER's poloidal field coil #6 will be manufactured by JSC VNIIKP and shipped to the jacketing supplier in Europe in July. From left to right: Eugen Bratu, EU-DA; Vitaly Vysotsky, Director of the VNIIKP Podolsk Office; and Sergey Lelekhov, DA Technical Responsible Officer.
There's been a change at the Russian Domestic Agency. Following a governmental decree, the Russian Domestic Agency for ITER (RF-DA) is no longer under the umbrella of the Kurchatov Institute. A new "Project Center ITER" was created within the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom. For the moment, we are still physically located on the premises of the Kurchatov Institute.

So much for the administrative news. As for manufacturing progress, last week we had the first test run for ITER's toroidal field conductor produced by the Russian Scientific Research and Development Cable Institute JSC VNIIKP. A 350-metre-long trial length of copper pre-dummy conductor was subjected to a global leak test, a hydrostatic pressure test and pressure drop measurements in accordance with stipulated procedures. Both the trial length and the testing facility successfully passed all tests.

Also, JSC VNIIKP manufactured 160 metres of niobium-titanium (NbTi) process qualification cable in the presence of representatives from the European and Russian Domestic Agencies. The last stage of cabling was completed successfully and the RF-DA is now in the process of reviewing all quality documents and associated records so as to clear the corresponding Authorization-To-Proceed-Point (ATPP). The next stage for JSC VNIIKP will be to start the manufacturing of the first unit length of cable for poloidal field coil 6 (PF6).

The qualification of the jacketing line for toroidal field conductor manufacturing—the next big milestone—should be finished by late May 2011. We expect JSC VNIIKP to finish the manufacturing of 760 metres of copper dummy cable and 100 metres of superconducting unit lengths in June 2011. These unit lengths will be shipped to the toroidal field coil manufacturer later this summer.

Four copper dummies (lengths 408, 508, 2 x 728 m) and one NbTi dummy (160 m) of cable will be shipped to Europe in June. These dummies are intended for developing the technological processes of jacketing and winding for ITER's poloidal field coils number 1 and 6. The first unit length of superconducting cable (734 m) for PF6 will be manufactured by JSC VNIIKP and shipped to the jacketing supplier in Europe in July. The RF-DA and the European Domestic Agency (EU-DA) have agreed to share the work on PF1 and PF6 conductor production, with RF-DA taking the responsibility for strand production and cabling and EU-DA taking responsibility for jacketing.

At the Chepetsky Mechanical Plant in Glazov where the superconducting strands for ITER's powerful magnetic coils is being manufactured, production has reached industrial scale: 25 tonnes of NbTi strands and 25 tonnes of Nb3Sn strand will be manufactured there this year. As of today, more than 165 tonnes of Nb3Sn strands and 20 tonnes of NbTi strands have been produced by the six parties involved in these procurements and registered in the ITER Conductor Database.

To conclude, I would like to express my deepest sympathy for the people of Japan. Although the tragedy has not altered the general attitude towards nuclear energy and fusion in our country, it has triggered the necessity to double check all safety systems and monitor their condition throughout the lifetime of nuclear power plants.

ITER DG Osamu Motojima and his Chinese counterpart, Luo Delong, shaking hands after signing PAs # 54 and 55. The team that accomplished the framework for these two contracts is watching the event.
The signing of a Procurement Arrangement not only marks a big milestone for the project, it is also a welcome break in the very busy ITER agenda. This week, the champagne glasses were raised on the occasion of the successful accomplishment of Procurement Arrangement 4.1.P2.CN.01 and 4.1.P2.CN.02 which symbolize the legal and technical framework for ITER's AC/DC converters and reactive power compensator & harmonic filtering.

The Chinese Domestic Agency will procure all fourteen poloidal field converters that will provide controllable current/voltage to ITER's six poloidal field coils. The procurement package includes the design, fabrication, delivery, installation, assembly, integration and site acceptance test of the converter units. It is a very challenging system due to unprecedented power level and short circuit current, and the high dynamic demanding from the need of the plasma control.

The Chinese Domestic Agency will also procure the ITER's reactive power compensator and harmonic filtering system rated at 750Mvar to stabilize the power grid and to provide required quality of the electrical power to operate ITER. It is a unique system due to the installed power, the extreme high demands on the response time and the expected loads.

The two Procurement Arrangements were signed on Wednesday between ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima on behalf of the ITER Organization and Luo Delong on behalf of the Chinese Domestic Agency, who will procure the critical sub-system. The Head of the Chinese Domestic Agency had come to Cadarache together with a delegation from the Chinese Ministry of the Science and Technology.

These two Procurement Arrangements are the 54th and 55th to be signed with the Domestic Agencies. They mark another milestone as they move the project's total value for in-kind procurement to over the 2 billion ITER Units of Account (IUA) mark - 2011.3498 kIUA to be precise! This equates to approximately EUR 3.13 billion.

The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in Hefei (Photo: ASIPP)
On 9 April, the Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited the Institute of Plasma Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) to take a look at the EAST Superconducting Tokamak. Fusion "is a grand conception," said Xi Jinping in the control room. "Humankind can not do without energy for its existence and development, and energy utilization won't be sustainable without science and technology. Fusion research will pave a bright way for humankind in energy alternatives."  

Click here to read the full article in ASIPP's Newsletter.

Osamu Motojima and Maurizio Gasparotto during the Arturo Tanga Memorial Colloquium this Friday.
This Friday, a second Colloquium was held at the Château de Cadarache in memory of Arturo and Beatrice Tanga. The couple was killed in a traffic accident in December 2009. A first Memorial Colloquium had been organized in March last year. "Arturo came here to Cadarache with his family to contribute to the success of ITER," Director-General Osamu Motojima said in his opening remarks. "He was an extremely hard working scientist. He was very supportive to his staff members. His commitment and leadership at the ITER Organization were exemplary to all of us. He was internationally recognized as a brilliant physicist. This is the reason why I asked for organization of this lecture in their memory."

After the introducion, Maurizio Gasparotto, Chief Engineer at the European Domestic Agency "Fusion for Energy" and a companion of Arturo and Beatrice since their university days in Rome, took over to commemorate the scientific and technical career of Arturo Tanga. It was then for Paul Thomas, Head of the Heating and Current Drive Division, and also a long-time friend and colleague of the Tangas, to close the lecture with some personal words.  

Determined to explore the greens of the world after 39 years of service to the fusion community: Hans Spoor, the Head of  ITER's Finance Division, is now a retiree.
After a career that began with the construction of the Joint European Torus (JET) in 1979 and, in total, encompassed 39 years of service in the fusion world, Hans Spoor, Head of the ITER Finance and Budget Division, retired.

At ITER, starting off with a "small but marvelous team" in March, 2008, Hans established the administrative tools that today form the backbone of the complex organ called ITER. "I just did my job," he modestly replied to the speakers that highlighted his many professional achievements during his farewell party, while also mentioning his unique charm. "I always tried to convey the message with a smile," Hans said before he packed his golf starter set and his hotel voucher—two presents that will help him to occupy his time during his time as retiree. "I wish you all success with this project," he said waving goodbye, "for the benefit of the world!"

The team from KAT and ITER Korea after the debriefing on successful wire manufacture on Tuesday, 19 April.
Kiswire Advanced Technology (KAT) located in Daejeon, Korea, recently completed the production of 28 tonnes of niobium-tin (Nb3Sn) wire for ITER's toroidal field magnets. This puts an end to the first stage of toroidal field strand procurement in Korea, which in total amounts to 93 tonnes. The second stage (30 tonnes) and the third stage (35 tonnes) are expected to be completed in 2013.