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Of Interest

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Responsible for the ITER Tokamak: Gary Johnson
Important progress continues to be made related to the generation of Procurement Arrangements PAs in the Tokamak Department. The third Toroidal Field conductor PA was signed by the Russian Domestic Agency (DA) on 12 February, 2008. This PA, together with the ones already signed by the Japanese and European Domestic Agencies, will produce 65% of the TF conductor for the ITER project. Work is continuing and other DAs are expected to sign in the coming months.

Progress is also continuing on the preparation of the next two PAs which are for Toroidal Field Coil (TF) winding and the Vacuum Vessel (VV). In the case of the TF winding PA, the Toroidal Field Procurement Review Committee met in mid February to continue refining the technical parts of the PA, which is nearly complete. For the VV PA, the generation of the technical specifications for the main vessel and ports continue to be improved. The first detailed 3-D models of the VV sectors and ports are nearly complete and other models will be completed over the coming months. The final resolution of some of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee activities may have an impact on the VV procurement schedule (particularly the ELM coils in the VV cooling channels). This is a critical point and will be closely reviewed and assessed during the coming months.

Other important Tokamak PAs that must be issued in 2008 include Central Solenoid and Poloidal Field coil conductor, PF magnets, the CS magnet, and tokamak assembly tools. These are all on or near the Project's critical path and will be the focus of the department for most of 2008.

Signing ceremony: (left) Norbert Holtkamp, (right) Evgueny Velikhov.
The first Procurement Agreement between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agency of the Russian Federation was signed on 12 February 2008 by ITER PDDG Norbert Holtkamp and Academician Evgeny P. Velikhov in the Kurchatov Institute, Moscow

This Procurement Arrangement is for part of the conductor for the toroidal field coils that will confine the plasma within the ITER machine and is an important step forward in work being undertaken by Russia for the ITER Project. It is the first of the baseline agreements by which the Russian Federation will make its in-kind contributions to the ITER Project.

"I am convinced, that Russia is both technically and financially completely able to qualitatively and in time fulfil its obligations under this agreement," Academician Velikhov said. Norbert Holtkamp expressed his confidence in further successful collaborations with the Russian Federation and underlined that "Russia has been making significant contribution to the ITER Project development for a long time".

Also participating in the signing ceremony of this Procurement Agreement were: Vitaliy Korzhavin, Petr Romanov (Rosatom), Russian Domestic Agency staff, and senior representatives of companies and scientific organizations involved in the ITER Project in Russia.

A brief press conference was held after the signing ceremony where ITER PDDG Holtkamp and Academician Velikhov answered questions from Russian and foreign journalists.

The architect's impression of the future International School in Manosque.
As new ITER employees arrive from all around the world, so do their families. The International School in Manosque, which opened in 2006, is growing fast.

The school offers bilingual education: 50% of the classes are given in French whereas the other 50% are given in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese or Japanese, according to the choice of the parents. More than 100 pupils from nursery to high school level attend the school, which is currently hosted in another Manosque school, Le Lycée des Iscles.

From September 2009 however, a new school will be opened to accommodate the increasing flux of pupils which are expected as the ITER Organization welcomes more and more new arrivals.

Following a competition in July 2007, Rudy Ricciotti, the company Léon Grosse and the architect Jean-Michel Battesti, were selected to build the future International School, which will be located near the current location on a 7 hectares site.

Construction of the new buildings, with a capacity for about 1000 pupils, will start this summer and delivery will be spread out over 2 years, to allow the first pupils to move in at the beginning of the school year 2009/2010.

Norbert Holtkamp and Ned Sauthoff at the US ITER exhibit at this years AAAS.
"Provision of clean energy in the world is our most pressing problem and one we can only tackle together." In his opening address of this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston, its president, the Nobel Prize Winner David Baltimore, left no doubt about what will be the key issue for science and technology - seen from a global perspective. Given the increasing energy demand of the two "big boys", China and India, together representing more than 50 percent of the world's population, the door is open for joint effort to tackle this issue.

Invited to represent large-scale international collaborations, ITER Principal Deputy Director-General Norbert Holtkamp, amongst scientific "heavy weights" such as Robert Aymar from CERN, Barry Barish from the International Linear Collider (ILC) and Anneila Sargent from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), explained to the audience of scientists and science writers the purpose of the ITER international collaboration in search for a new clean energy source, and what the challenges were.

Then, in a special session at this 174th AAAS meeting, the declassification of magnetic confinement fusion at the Geneva Conference 1958 was celebrated. Senior fusion scientists such as Evgeny Velikhov from the Russian Kurchatov Institute and Prediman Kaw, Director of the Plasma Research Institute in Bhat, India and Chair of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee to ITER sketched out the past 50 or even 80 years from the first written theory to the ITER project today and beyond. In an rousing speech, the Chairman of the ITER Council, Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, finally pointed the way to a fast track to commercial fusion power plants. "The stakes justify a much more aggressive approach," Llewellyn Smith said. "If CO2 were purple, more people would worry about it."

Kick- off meeting on 14 February: Arnaud Devred (ITER), Lucio Rossi (CERN), Philippe Lebrun (ITER), Neil Mitchell (ITER)
On 14 February, the first steering committee meeting in the scope of the CERN-ITER Cooperation Agreement 2007 was held in Cadarache. This agreement was approved by the Councils of the two organizations last year with the aim of sharing knowledge and information on technologies between CERN and ITER.

This kick off meeting marks " the first step towards sharing the key common technologies involved in LHC (Large Hadron Collider) and ITER, such as superconductivity, magnet coils and cryogenics." said Philippe Lebrun, Head of the Accelerator Technology Department in CERN. The collaboration has already assisted the IO and DAs in preparing technical specifications for the Procurement Arrangements for the Toroidal Field Coils. These procurements are among largest individual items for ITER and work is due to start later this year.

Jean Pavageau, Responsible Officer for the site layout and infrastructures.
The plans indicate what the ITER site is ultimately going to look like. But for the moment it is still barren land with only a couple of mud trails and plenty of trucks and tractors.

Difficult to imagine what is going to emerge out of the ground and where, how many kilometres of roads are going to be needed, where the fences are going to be and so on... To get an idea of the infrastructure that is going to be required one needs a fairly detailed plan of the buildings and systems, which is why a pre-design architectural and engineering tender has been launched. Four companies have been asked to submit proposals, the contract will be signed in April.

Jean Pavageau will be in interface between the contractor and the different ITER departments. He joined ITER at the beginning of January this year as

Responsible Officer for the site lay-out and infrastructures, within the Civil Construction and Site Support Office. Before joining ITER he had worked for the CEA for 11 year. His role within the ITER project will be to work with the technical departments to understand their needs, constraints and prerequisites and to coordinate this with the contractor. "Building a project this vast and complex from scratch will be a real challenge, says Jean, and collaboration and coordination between all the players is going to be the key if we want to get it right."

In the meantime, formalities for the building permit are well on their way. At the end of January, another 10 kilos worth of additional documentation to support the building permit request, which had initially been submitted at the end of September 2007, have been delivered to the Mayor of St Paul-les-Durance. During the three months instruction period that will now follow, the different technical services of the French Administration will review thoroughly the documents. If all goes as planned, the building permit will be delivered at the end of April. but that is not the end of the story...During the next two months, any third party can file an appeal against the permit. A court will then decide whether or not this is well-founded. But unless that happens, another important milestone will be reached early July when the Building Permit will officially be approved.

RCC Meeting on 12 February
A meeting was held on 12 February to present the RCC-MR 2007, the Code upgraded by the European Member Party to design and manufacture the ITER Vacuum Vessel (VV).

This Code has been updated recently taking into account the specificities of the ITER Vacuum Vessel (box welded double shell structure, low carbon, low cobalt stainless steel) and the requirements defined in the French regulation on Nuclear Pressure Equipment. More than 40 people participated in this all day meeting, amongst them representatives from the Domestic Agencies involved in the VV Procurement Arrangement and the responsible officers within the IO.

In this meeting, the VV-Design, appropriate materials, welding techniques and the standards for final inspection were discussed. The use of RCC-MR for the ITER Vacuum Vessel has now been approved through DCR150. Training and further presentations to all teams and companies involved in the design, manufacturing and control are under discussion. A two day training prior to the next VV procurement meeting (VVPRO-6) in March is being organized.

The RCC-MR 2007 document is available for IO staff in the IO library (Judith Campbell)or it can be ordered from AFCEN, the Mechanical Engineering Association which reviewed the document and took care of its publication. IDM document ITER_D_2825UT gives a general presentation of the code, the table of content and instructions to order copies for non IO teams.

Involving the local communities around Cadarache in the ITER project and providing information is essential. Therefore, the so called Public Enquiry plays an important role for its success.

Ten such public enquiries have already taken place in the course of the last years : Eight related to the Itinerary and two to the ground occupation of St Paul Lez Durance and rain water measures on the ITER site.

The latest Inquiry, that started on 11 December 2007, deals with the use of heavy machinery on the ITER construction site and their environmental impact.

During the platform levelling work starting in March 2008, heavy machinery will crush rocks and produce cement. Supply fuel and compressed air will be required to carry out work. To reduce constructions transport on the public highway, an area of 11 ha will be created within the site 'Vallon de Longcamp'' to store over 1.2 million cubic meters of soil.

The public enquiry file was available for consultation by the general public until 11 January 2008 in the town halls of St Paul- Lez-Durance, Corbières, Ginasservis, Vinon-sur-Verdon, and Beaumont-de-Pertuis. Now, the investigating commissioner has to analyze the public comments and pass the information on to Agence Iter France (AIF). AIF is then to reply in a memo to the investigating commissioner. After receiving the memo, the investigating commissioner will summarize the inquiry progress, public comments and replies in a final report to the prefect of the region. The prefect will then give a favourable or unfavourable recommendation and will end the enquiry.

Bruno Cantone, CAD Designer