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ITER NEWSLINE 3
From 1 December, the ITER Organization will have the capacity to directly hire its staff, and to start preparing procurement contracts, which will be necessary early next year for some of the items which have a long lead time. In short, the ITER Organization can now embark on its mission, as a worldwide international cooperation, to help create a new source of energy for humankind."
The signature took place at a ceremony at the Elysée Palace in Paris and was hosted by the President of the French Republic M. Jacques Chirac and by the President of the European Commission, M. José Manuel Durão Barroso. The signed documents were formally handed over to the representative of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to be deposited with the Director General of the IAEA.
French President Jacques Chirac said: "If nothing changes, humanity will have consumed, in 200 years, most of the fossil fuel resources accumulated over hundreds of millions of years." He adds: "It (the ITER project) is the victory of the general interest of humanity."
The first meeting of the Interim ITER Council took place at Ministerial level after the signing ceremony, under the chairmanship of Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research. With the signature of the ITER Agreement and the first Council meeting, the ITER Organization can start its operation on a provisional basis pending the entry into force of the agreement which is expected in the course of 2007.
One trip being planned after Christmas is a visit to the prestigious chocolate factory at Puyricard, just north of Aix en Provence. This was the most popular excursion on the basis of a questionnaire sent out to the ITER Team, closely followed by wine-tasting (also to be arranged soon). A Christmas get-together making the most of cuisine from all around the world are also on the agenda.
Further details concerning this call for expressions of interest can be obtained by visiting the following website.
This so-called Contact Persons (CP) meeting grew out of the negotiation meetings for the ITER Agreement. Its present task is to prepare the ITER Council meetings, and to prepare most of the documents that the Council will need to endorse and approve. This time, issues such as staff regulations, resources management, and the ITER budget for 2007 were on the agenda.
"Today, we CP's are preparing the last documents that will allow the ITER Organization to operate as a legal entity and manage its own affairs, such as recruiting personnel, place contracts, etc.", said Didier Gambier of DG Research, one of the Contact Persons for the EU. "Our job here is to make sure all material presented to the Interim ITER Council is sufficiently consensual for the Parties to approve it without too much trouble."
There are around 200 institutes involved in the Russian ITER activities. The major one is the Kurchatov Institute for Atomic Energy in Moscow. Secondly, here is the Efremov Institute in St. Petersburg, which is responsible for designing and manufacturing the hardware. These two organizations are candidates for becoming host of the Russian Domestic Agency. The decision will be made before the end of this year.
"Now we go from paper to hardware," said Dr. Vladimir Vlasenkov.
Between 1993 and 1999, he was ITER Vacuum Vessel Group Leader at the Garching Joint Work Site. Since 1999 he has been working on the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) Project at ORNL. Early responsibilities included defining requirements for buildings and oversight of the Architect Engineer and Construction Manager, as well as coordination of the mechanical design of the warm linear accelerator, and planning and overseeing all assembly, installation and testing of that system at ORNL. In 2004 he became Experimental Facilities Division Installation Manager.
As DDG for the Tokamak, Gary Johnson will be responsible for "the core of the system". He will have to coordinate the various contributions by the ITER Parties and ensure a high quality in the construction of the device. "There is little room for mistakes," he confirmed.