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ITER NEWSLINE 22
The Department has already completed a re-examination of the fuelling and pumping capability required to support ELM control via pellet pacemaking and has collaborated with the Department of Central Engineering and Plant Support in developing an updated specification of ITER's requirements in these areas.
During the last year's Design Review, FST worked closely with the Tokamak Department and the fusion community to redefine ITER's strategy for the use of plasma-facing materials during experimental operation. This is a subject which excites considerable controversy in the fusion community and has been the subject of many lively, and productive discussions during this period. Work is continuing in this area in order to provide input to the responses to the questions raised by STAC on this subject. Related activities include the support provided for the Dust Task Force headed by Safety and Security Division to develop a strategy for dealing with dust generated during plasma operation.
The development of the ITER Research Plan, to define in greater detail the research program accompanying construction and the research which will be carried out once ITER plasma operation begins, is an activity launched early in the Design Review in collaboration with the fusion community. Recent activities in this area have involved a close collaboration with the Codac, Heating and Current Drive Division (CHD) to incorporate the requirements for the commissioning of the Heating and Current Drive and Diagnostic systems in the early years of ITER operation.
The Fusion Science and Technology Department is also responsible for several activities which will integrate the expertise in the fusion communities into the ITER research program. Recently, FST has been participating in discussions with the Coordinating Committee of the International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) to adapt the ITPA's operations to the new environment for fusion research which has been created by the establishment of the ITER project. As a result of these discussions, DG Ikeda has now approved the operation of the ITPA under the ITER auspices. In addition, FST is working to develop a framework for integrated modelling of ITER plasmas that will build on the activities underway in the ITER Members. An initial workshop held in Cadarache in September 2007 showed that there was a basic agreement within this community on the priorities for future research in this area and the focus of FST's work at present is to draft a framework agreement for collaboration in this area which can be agreed with the Members.
The final programmatic activity will, in time, become a substantial construction project in its own right: the Test Blanket Module program, which FST coordinates, will lead to the construction of six special blanket modules capable of breeding tritium and generating high grade heat, which will be prototypical of those used in a fusion power plant. These will be installed in three of the ITER equatorial ports and will be subject to an extensive testing program throughout ITER's life. The most recent meeting of the Test Blanket Working Group (see article in this issue) was held last week in Aix-en-Provence and brought together experts in this area from all of the ITER Members to discuss progress and the planning of future activities.
The Agreement was signed by Kaname Ikeda, Director-General of the ITER Organization and Robert Aymar, Director General of CERN, in the presence of senior staff from both organizations. Kaname Ikeda said "The wealth of knowledge acquired by CERN over its many years of operation will make an important contribution to ITER's ability to make rapid progress." Robert Aymar expressed his pleasure not only as CERN Director General, but also as someone previously involved in the ITER project from its inception, that "CERN is very happy to work with ITER in common areas of science and technology."
The Cooperation Arrangement has been concluded for a five year period and enters into force immediately.
The first ITER Research Fellowships, sponsored by the Principality of Monaco, have been announced. The principal motivation of the Fellowships is the development of excellence in research in fusion science and technology within the ITER framework. The Fellowship applies to all PhD students of one of ITER parties or of the Principality of Monaco. Deadline for applications is 30 April 2008.
The first morning was spent concentrating on ITER's performance goals for 2008 and in the afternoon, Kaname Ikeda, Norbert Holtkamp and all the Deputy Director-Generals gave presentations, outlining what each of them wanted to achieve this year and how they can measure their success. This concentration on Management, the Organization, and a clear definition of objectives was extremely useful.
Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, the Chairman of ITER Council also attended the final session of the meeting and gave a presentation on how ITER can interact effectively with Council. He congratulated ITER on organizing the off-site meeting and underlined the global importance of the ITER project. Sir Chris emphasized how crucial it is to set up relationships of trust and confidence with Council Members, the Member Parties and Domestic Agencies, noting that it takes time. He also reminded ITER management how long it can take to build up effective systems and trust within a major international organization. A consistent goal for ITER is safety, emphasizing, reinforcing, and assuring the integration of safe and secure practices throughout the project is of the highest priority.
There were also presentations from Francois Gauché from Agence ITER France, Colin Miège from Mission ITER and the Communications Divison outlining the proposed communication strategy for the Organization.
Hans certainly is no newcomer in the world of fusion. Although he is an accountant by education, he has worked in fusion, one way or another, for the last three decades. Hans joined JET as internal auditor in 1979 and later became Head of Finance from 1989 to 1993. Thereafter he moved to Brussels, where he was Head of Administration and Finance of the Fusion Division of EURATOM, between 1993 to 2004. In 2004 he joined the Directorate of International Cooperation in DG RTD (Research and Technological Development) at the European Commission as Head of Administration and Finance, overseeing the administration of international research activities.
His heart kept on going out to fusion though and when ITER, a project Hans had been following since the early days, finally became reality, being part of it was a challenge he willingly accepted. "I am a true believer in fusion energy as one of the potential solutions of the growing energy problems of this world. Helping the ITER project be successful in contributing to this is something I really look forward to doing."
The seminar is meant to be interactive with plenty of time for questions and answers. The Welcome Office is therefore organizing two sessions on 18 March, one at 8.30 a.m. and one at 1.30 p.m. at the INSTN (next to the Chateau de Cadarache) Room B2.
During last week's meeting two options were discussed, both including ITER maintenance issues, functionality requirements and possible optimization. "This meeting was a step forward in a long exercise," said Magali Benchikhoune, ITER Hot Cell & Radwaste Services Integration Section Leader. The outcome will be presented to the STAC2 Recommendations Coordination Meeting in its next meeting on 18 March 2008, during the IO—DA meeting in Aix en Provence.
The design and ultimately the size of the Hot Cell Building is driven by the special purposes and requirements of the ITER systems for remote handling and repair of tokamak components, including the management of radioactive waste generated by those processes. In simple words: It is all about the necessary size of the building allowing operation and maintenance of the ITER device. "It is a bit like building a car repair shop," Magali Benchikhoune explains. "You want to make sure that it is reasonably big enough so that you can park the cars to be repaired, do the maintenance work and store the spares."
The key goal of the ad-hoc group, a body created to integrate the various approaches from all seven ITER Members, was to explore a time table on how to proceed with the Test Blanket Program. "Test Blankets play an important part in developing fusion power plants and they will have to be there on the first day of ITER operation," Valery Chuyanov, ITER Deputy Director for Fusion Science and Technology, commented. "It is our job to develop an integrated research plan that allows us to study functional material behaviour, plasma behaviour, the resulting energy cycle and the tritium recycling capacity for blanket materials."