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ITER NEWSLINE 23
The team continues to build up rapidly at Cadarache. This month the ITER staff will count 258 and soon this will reach 300. This has meant that another set of buildings has had to be erected so that the team is now spread over four locations. We need to make sure that the staff have opportunities to get to know each other and build up a good team spirit. Internal communications are extremely important and these are being developed by the Communications Division.
We also need a method of assessing how well our staff are doing and so management has introduced a staff appraisal system that has just started to be implemented with the full cooperation of the newly elected staff representatives. Early February saw the start of the necessary training for line management who are now engaged in interviews with their colleagues with the aim of completing the exercise at the end of March.
It was in the same context that we organized an "off-site seminar" at Cassis at the end of February with the senior management and office directors in order to identify near term organizational goals and performance goals of each member. This was the first team building exercise at management level, and I believe looking at the many new arrivals these days this sort of exercise could be useful at department level as well.
Of course, all this has to happen while maintaining our busy project schedule. The assessment exercise is an excellent opportunity for managers and staff alike to take the time to have a full discussion of how they feel work is going and of any changes they feel could contribute to the efficiency of our organization.
The pellet injection system has two main experimental objectives: deep plasma fuelling to control plasma density and burn, and pacing of the edge instabilities called ELMs. The ITER pellet injection system is based on the gas gun technology originally developed in the US and continuous screw extruder technology originally developed in Russia. The new twin screw system developed at Oak Ridge will be capable of producing ice at a throughput of more than 100 Pa m3/sec.
Cylindrical pellets are cut from the different species of ice ribbons (hydrogen, deuterium, tritium, impurities or their mixture) by the sharp edge of thin wall tubes. Then a short pulse of propellant gas (hydrogen or deuterium up to 30 bar), accelerates each pellet up to 300 m/s. For the plasma density and burn control, pellet injection (~90 mm3 and 16 pellets per second maximum) from the high field side (inner wall) is provided by a dedicated flight tube. For the ELM control, smaller pellets at high frequency (~30 mm3, up to 40 pellets per second) are delivered through a low field side (outer wall) flight tube.
Two pellet injectors will be installed as the start-up machine configuration for hydrogen operation. There will be a provision to upgrade the system to a six injector configuration for DT plasma operation. The next step will be developing a pneumatic gas gun capable of accelerating the pellets to a speed of 300 m/s to allow it to penetrate deep into the plasma and — in a further step - to mate it with the extruder to form the pellet injector.
The Vacuum Vessel Procurement Arrangement signature is scheduled for June this year. "The preparation for the VV PA is progressing. Nevertheless keeping the schedule for this signature in June remains a challenge with regards to conformity assessment by the Agreed Notified Body (the ANB will perform the conformity assessment of the design and fabrication for pressure equipment ) and definitions of the design and interfaces," Kimihiro Ioki, IO Responsible Officer for the VV and Head of the Vessel Division, commented on the outcome of the three day meeting. The impacts of the ELM control coils, the blanket manifolds and the VV electromagnetic load updates on the VV PA are not fully known at this moment.
In preparation for the VV PA, the IO delivered a Vacuum Vessel 3D CAD model to the Members on 22 February and the Domestic Agencies generated 2D drawings for the VV technical specification. "This is an important achievement towards the VV PA. Cooperation between IO and Members is essential for the preparation of the Procurement Arrangement," Kimihiro Ioki emphasized. Furthermore, RCC-MR has been selected as the VV design and construction code.
Europe will supply seven vessel sectors and Korea two sectors and the equatorial/lower ports including Neutral Beam Liners and VV supports. The Russian Federation will supply the upper ports and India delivers the in-wall shielding for the vacuum vessel.
To start with this was work on the "other" sort of fusion — inertial fusion using lasers, but she later transferred into the ITER community working on the Test Blanket Module and finally in 2006 she crossed the Atlantic to come back from the States to Cadarache to take up her current post in the Environment, Safety and Health Section of the Project Office.
Her task is to carry out accident analysis for ITER "reference events" — postulated incidents or accidents that could lead to potential radioactive releases - to demonstrate that the full range of events has been examined and that their consequences are acceptable for the workers, the public and the environment. This is a key part of the enormous document submitted to the French nuclear regulators at the beginning of this year, the Preliminary Safety Report (Rapport Préliminaire de Sûreté, RPrS)
It's comforting to note that "even in the very unlikely event of a worst-case scenario, the maximum accident dose to the most exposed individual would be below the natural background radiation dose received by that same individual over a year."
Read the full article here.