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As the helicopter flew over the salt marshes that surround Berre, the passengers got a quick glimpse of the test convoy trailer  that was being readied for its maiden voyage.
Last Friday, under a transparent late-summer Provençal sky, ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima boarded a French gendarmerie Ecureuil helicopter and flew south to reconnoitre the ITER Itinerary.

After a few minutes of stationary flight over the ITER platform for photographs (see this issue's Images), the three-passenger craft headed along the Durance River Valley to the Pont de Mirabeau, where heavy works were carried out to widen the road and replace the retaining wall dating from 1934 in advance of the passage of ITER convoys.

The helicopter then travelled on to the village of La Roque d'Antheron, before turning south towards Berre L'Etang, point of departure for the test convoy.

And there it was! As the helicopter flew over the salt marshes that surround Berre, the passengers got a quick glimpse of the 352-wheel vehicle loaded with concrete blocks that was being readied for its maiden voyage.

The invitation to flyover the ITER Itinerary was courteously extended by General David Galtier, head of the PACA region gendarmerie. It enabled the Director-General to take in the concrete reality of the Itinerary and the striking beauty of the Provençal landscape in the last days of summer—a half-hour flight that included a vision of the snowy peaks of the Alps, the bald summit of Mont Ventoux, the sparkling Mediterranean coast, and the urban sprawl of Marseille.

Working toward fusion energy: the first China-Korea Joint Coordination Meeting for the development of fusion energy and the joint implementation of the ITER Project.
A bilateral meeting was held between China and Korea on 11-12 July in Changsha, China to promote collaboration on the development of fusion energy and the joint implementation of the ITER Project.

This first Joint Coordination Meeting (JCM-1) took place between representatives of the Chinese MOST (Ministry of Science and Technology) and Korea's MSIP (Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Future Planning), with representatives of the Chinese and Korean Domestic Agencies for ITER, national fusion institutes, and universities present. The meeting was chaired by Linhao Chen, Deputy Director-General of MOST's Department of International Cooperation.

Exchanging information on their respective fusion programs, the delegations elaborated plans for joint research and workshops and the exchange of information and personnel.

The meeting took place on the heels of an encounter in June 2013 between Chinese President Xi and Korean President Park. Geun Jae Lee, head of the Korean delegation and Director-General of the R&D Policy Bureau of MSIP, underlined the meaningfulness of JCM-1 meeting in this context, expressing his confidence in the contribution of the two countries to ITER Project and fusion energy commercialization.

"This was a milestone meeting," said Luo Delong, acting head of the Chinese Domestic Agency, "one which I am sure will encourage stronger cooperation and further the relationship between our two countries."

Kijung Jung, head of the Korean Domestic Agency, emphasized the longtime friendship between the two countries in working toward fusion energy development and shared his belief that they would play an important role in the success of ITER Project.

The next bilateral meeting should take place in July 2014 in Korea.

The Korean Domestic Agency is housed on the fourth and fifth floors of the brand-new National Fusion Research Institute Headquarters.
After two years of construction, the National Fusion Research Institute headquarters building is ready for occupation. All staff members of the Korean Domestic Agency (ITER Korea) moved to the new headquarters on 30 August.

The brand-new building has state-of-the-art facilities such as video conference rooms, an audio-visual classroom, a public relations centre, a fitness centre and tea rooms. The new amenities enable the staff to carry out their work in a convenient, well-equipped and comfortable environment. The 20,000-square-metre building consists of six floors of office space and two levels of parking in the basement. ITER Korea is located on the fourth and fifth floors.

The official inauguration ceremony will be held on the 30 September, with government officials and other distinguished guests in attendance.

"This is a big milestone for ITER Korea," announced the Domestic Agency Head, Kijung Jung. "This important step forward will allow us to implement our contributions to the ITER Project in a more efficient work environment."

The model of the central solenoid, developed by the US Domestic Agency on the basis of functional specifications provided by the ITER Organization, reflects the final design proposed by the US after feedback from industry and manufacturing trials.
There is a procedure for everything ... and certainly more than one when it comes to building the world's largest fusion device. One of the procedures established within the ITER Organization is the Model Approval Meeting (MAM), in which the design descriptions for critical components pass the final check before they are turned into hardware.

The 3D-viewer room on the neighbouring premises of CEA Cadarache has become a regular meeting spot for ITER engineers over the last weeks and months. On one morning in late August, about a dozen ITER staff working on the central solenoid, the centrepiece of ITER's magnet system, have come together to review the compatibility of the detailed 3D CAD model provided by US Domestic Agency with the rest of the Tokamak. This model, developed by US ITER at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the basis of the functional specifications provided by the ITER Organization, reflects the final design proposed by the US after feedback from industry and manufacturing trials.

The turn-to-turn spacing of the solenoid conductor had apparently been too tight to be guaranteed by the industrial manufacturer. The solution on the table, proposed by US ITER, is to extend the winding gaps by reducing the inner radius. The impact of this solution is the focus of the discussion.

Jens Reich, coordinator of tokamak design integration and leader of the meeting, asks the 3D-room operators to overlay the original configuration model developed by the ITER Organization with the detailed model they have received back from the US.

A few seconds later, through their 3D-glasses, observers saw a real-size, down-to-the-detail central solenoid unfold on the screen in front of them. What impact would the changes have? And what about the margins at the perimeter—would they still allow for the assembly of this supersized magnet? The central solenoid will be lowered into the machine at the very end of the assembly process, a procedure that doesn't leave much flexibility for manoeuvring.

The last word about the design of the central solenoid will have to wait until the Final Design Review planned for 18-20 November this year. "But this 3D-check is a very helpful tool to verify the details of a component and to identify any potential interface issues to be solved," explains Jean-Jacques Cordier, leader of the ITER Design Integration team, before he and his colleagues put their glasses on again to look at the next client, the support structures for the poloidal field coils. 

These images, produced by ITER's Design Integration Section from CATIA data, are the most recent Configuration Management Models of the ITER Tokamak—with and without its plasma. Images like these are produced every six month for the purposes of design and technical configuration meetings.

© ITER Organization July 2013