Enable Recite

Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:


Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media


Of Interest

See archived articles


The IOS Topical Group (TG) is one of seven topical groups in the ITPA whose main role is to integrate plasma operation scenarios for burning plasma experiments, particularly for ITER, including inductive, hybrid, and steady-state scenarios.
The 10th Integrated Operation Scenarios (IOS) International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) meeting was held in the ITER Council Chamber from 15-18 April 2013. There were 30 external participants from the ITER Members and a number of representatives from the ITER Organization. The external participants include representatives from the main magnetic fusion devices and modellers from the ITER Members.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the experiments and modelling being carried out around the world in support of the ITER design and plasma operation as well as to align the priorities for future R&D with the latest ITER priorities. The IOS Topical Group (TG) is one of seven topical groups in the ITPA whose main role is to integrate plasma operation scenarios for burning plasma experiments, particularly for ITER, including inductive, hybrid, and steady-state scenarios. The IOS-TG also recommends physics guidelines and methodologies for the operation and design of burning plasma experiments. The ITPA topical groups all meet every six months in one of the countries of the ITER Members. This was the first time the IOS-TG met at ITER, allowing the members and experts of the IOS-TG to see first-hand the progress in ITER construction. 

Experimental and modelling results were presented from Alcator C-Mod, ASDEX-Upgrade, DIII-D, JET, JT-60U, and KSTAR of ITER-relevant plasma operational scenarios. Experimental results concentrated on inductive and hybrid scenarios; modelling of steady-state scenarios was also presented. Modelling of burning plasma and energetic particle physics were presented as well as plasma rotation in ITER and their impact on operational scenarios. The predicted plasma rotation profiles in hybrid scenarios were strongly peaked with rotation up to nearly 200 km/s, corresponding to about 4 kHz rotation in ITER in the centre. The effects of the Edge Localized Mode (ELM) coil fields on fast ion losses comparing vacuum fields and the plasma response were also shown, indicating that when the plasma response is included, the fast ion losses are acceptable even at high performance with the maximum ELM coil current.

The IOS-TG also concentrates on plasma control including experiments and modelling of profile control as well as development of the preliminary design of the ITER plasma control system (PCS). A review of the PCS conceptual design was presented as well as an action plan for how the experimental and modelling programs within the ITER Members can contribute to developing the PCS preliminary design for First Plasma and early hydrogen and helium plasma operation. Modelling of control of the entry into a burning plasma regime was also presented. A proposal was made to integrate experiments and modelling of plasma control schemes for ITER in existing experiments so that these control schemes can be developed before ITER operation to reduce run time on ITER for control scheme development. A request was made for the ITPA to provide control priorities for the ITER actuators starting with a few phases of plasma operation. 

As part of the ITPA response to the question of starting ITER with an all-tungsten divertor, the IOS-TG discussed the effect of a tungsten divertor on operational scenarios. Reports from DIII-D, ASDEX Upgrade, and C-Mod compared operation with carbon walls and metal walls. Although there were some differences, it was generally believed that ITER would be able to learn how to operate with beryllium walls and an all tungsten divertor.

Modelling of ITER and JET current ramps were also presented indicating the differences between operation with carbon walls and with the ITER-like wall on JET. Since the peak in radiation for tungsten occurs around a temperature of 1 keV, the radiation from tungsten will be peaked near the edge in ITER. There is still a question about whether or not the tungsten transport into the core can be controlled to a sufficiently small value.

Modelling of steady-state fusion plasma scenarios was also presented to understand how the present heating and current drive systems should perform as well as what upgrades might be required to meet the long-pulse goals of the ITER program. The modelling includes simulation of sawtooth control, kinetic integrated modelling, and parameter scaling from existing experiments to ITER steady-state regimes. An update was also given on the latest proposed changes to the steering of the electron cyclotron heating and current drive system that was followed by extensive discussion.

In summary, the meeting provided valuable information on recent experiments and modelling of ITER plasma operation scenarios. Actions for the ITPA members and experts to help define the preliminary design of the ITER plasma control system were agreed upon. Continued experiments and modelling to demonstrate ITER operational scenarios for the inductive, hybrid, and steady-state scenarios were presented. A special report on the impact of an all-tungsten divertor on ITER operational scenarios was also discussed at length. 

The pre-assembly operations of the ITER cryostat will take place in a temporary workshop located on the northeast corner of the ITER worksite, slightly set back from the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility.
Beginning in December 2015, the first of the ITER cryostat's components will arrive on site. A part of India's in-kind contribution to the project, these 54 segments are among the largest and heaviest of the whole Tokamak assembly. They will have to be pre-assembled into four sections before being transported to the Assembly Building.

The pre-assembly operations will take place in a dedicated temporary workshop located on the northeast corner of the ITER worksite, slightly set back from the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility. The workshop will be built and operated by the Indian Domestic Agency.

As stipulated in the agreement that the ITER Organization and the Indian Domestic Agency signed last Friday 19 April, this small "territory," the size of a football field (50 x 120 m), will be made available to the Indian Domestic Agency. Acting as building owner on this portion of the ITER worksite, the Indian Domestic Agency will observe French labour laws and regulations.

Over the past two years and in addition to the preparation of the agreement, the ITER Building Site and Infrastructure Directorate, supported by Legal Affairs, prepared the administrative files pertaining to the environmental authorizations and building permit necessary for the construction and operation of the temporary workshop.

Work on the steel-framed workshop should begin in the coming weeks and last for 18 months. Once the building is completed, Larsen and Toubro Ltd, the Indian company that was awarded the contract for the fabrication and assembly of the ITER Cryostat in August 2012, will have some 50 people on site, and many more, locally subcontracted, once the actual assembly work begins.

Yanchun, who adopted the name "Kevin" for the convenience of communication, has come from Shanghai to ITER to manage the logistics of the components that the ITER Domestic Agencies will begin shipping in 2014.
Three months ago, Yanchun Qiao experienced a drastic change is his environment: moving from Shanghai (pop. 23 million) to Manosque (pop. 22,000), he left a megalopolis that never sleeps for a small town that closes down every weekday at 7:00 p.m. "I arrived on Sunday. It was very strange. It took me some time to realize that shops systematically closed on Sundays and Mondays."

Yanchun has adapted. "You just need to buy food in advance for the weekends. This is a bit foreign for someone from China, especially someone from Shanghai, but it's manageable." However, closing early and remaining shuttered two days a week has its advantages: "It is a lot quieter here, and I find it's not unpleasant at all."

Since graduating from the Shanghai-based China Europe International Business School (a joint operation of the Chinese government and the European Commission) Yanchun has always worked for multinational companies: he began his career at CHEP, an Australian logistics handling and equipment-pooling service company and later joined Maersk, the Denmark-based logistics giant. In both cases he was based in Shanghai, with a lot of travel worldwide.

Yanchun has come to ITER to manage the framework contracts pertaining to the transport and logistics of the ITER Organization components that Domestic Agencies will begin shipping in 2014. The complexity of the task doesn't intimidate him. It is "quite similar" to what he did for nearly three years at Maersk. "Basically," he says, "it's a coordination job."

Yes but. "Working for the ITER project is not like working in a commercial context. At ITER, between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies, it is a bit like at the United Nations. There is no direct subordination; no 'order' that can be given ... which means you need strong communication and lots of diplomacy."

Complexity is in the nature of logistics. "There are always lots of entities involved, lots of details to deal with. In my previous jobs it was sometimes even more complicated: at Maersk, at times, I had to deal with some 50 business units. At ITER, we have only seven..."

Well, eight—if you count the French leg of the voyage. Once the components have been safely unloaded at Port de Marseille, Fos, another journey will begin—quite short as compared to the distance some of the components will have travelled by then, but complex and delicate.

The 136-kilometre Itinerary (including the crossing of the Étang de Berre by barge) that leads from Marseille-Fos harbour to the ITER site is not always direct, either geographically or administratively. As the convoys carrying the heavy exceptional components travel along the specialized ITER Itinerary, they will cross or impact dozens of administrative districts and involve several public or private entities.

Although the ITER Organization does not deal directly with the French authorities—this is the mission of Agence Iter France—it is part of Yanchun's responsibility to keep a close eye on the ongoing processes: the improvements that are still needed on some portions of the Itinerary; the finalization of the conventions with the different entities involved, and the "big challenge" of the technical test (see box) that will be organized in September.

"Realizing the technical test in September will not impact the components delivery schedule," says Yanchun — or should we say "Kevin,", the nom de guerre Yanchun chose when he entered the China Europe International Business School. "I adopted the name for the convenience of communication. 'Kevin' is a simple as possible and works in many languages and countries..."

Even in France, where the name 'Kevin' was totally unknown and unused before the 1980s and suddenly became one the most popular given names in the following decade.