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ITER NEWSLINE 39
The meeting was opened by ITER Director General, Kaname Ikeda, who brought the CC up to date on the status of the ITER Project and thanked the outgoing Topical Group Chairs and Co-Chairs, who had served in these positions for periods of up to 9 years, for their important contributions to the development of the physics basis for ITER. The DG also presented the Chairs and Co-Chairs with a framed photograph of the ITER construction site in recognition of the role which they had played in co-ordinating international fusion research in support of ITER.
The CC, led by Chair Ron Stambaugh of the US, spent the first day reviewing the Topical Groups' reports on their research activities during the past year. The high quality of the research reported in these presentations makes them a highlight of the CC meetings — and an excellent opportunity to stay abreast of cutting edge research in fusion physics. The first day was rounded off by reports from the Participants' Contact Persons on major developments in their fusion research programmes in the coming year.
The second morning was devoted to a detailed discussion of major physics aspects of the ITER Design Review, the current status of the ITER Research Plan and ITER's high priority needs in physics research. This allowed an extensive exchange of ideas among the community experts and IO staff on how the ITPA could best contribute to ITER Physics R&D. A final session was devoted to formal aspects of the activity, including the provision of guidance to the Topical Groups on how they should develop their research programmes in response to the high priority needs identified by the IO.
ITER will develop into the major research facility within the International fusion program as well as the key step in demonstrating the scientific feasibility of fusion energy production. To ensure the scientific success of the project and to exploit ITER's potential as a major international scientific research facility, "it is essential to provide the instruments required to address the project's major scientific needs and to develop a scientific community around the project in preparation for the operation and exploitation phases," a sentiment endorsed by the ITER Council.
The Participants in the ITPA are the Members of ITER. The organizational structure consists of one Coordinating Committee and seven Topical Physics Groups as defined in its new Charter. The ITPA Coordinating Committee is composed of three representatives from each Participant and the ITER Organization — the ITER representatives are Valery Chuyanov, David Campbell and Michiya Shimada of ITER Fusion Science & Technology Department.
Last week, the new Coordination Committee met for the fist time in Aix-en-Provence. "This meeting marks a transition, with the ITPA operating under the auspices of ITER to provide a framework for internationally-coordinated research," Ron Stambaugh, Chairman of the Coordination Committee, said.
The ITPA will provide support to ITER in the fulfillment of its mission by helping to create and coordinate a common international research programme and — as ITER is the only burning plasma experiment on the horizon — to advance the physics basis for burning plasma operation in ITER. Each ITPA Topical Groups will therefore be putting together an R&D program in its own areas of expertise which addresses key issues that need to be resolved in developing the ITER scientific program. Integration of experimental results from the international tokamak program will be essential, as will the development of validated models of burning plasma behaviour.
The ITER Hot Cell Facility is a very unique combination of tritium irradiated materials and dust, with components of enormous sizes to be refurbished or discharged. Today it is current practice for hot cells to implement stainless steel liners in order to increase the leak tightness, and thus to improve safety during operations, and to reduce the amount of waste during the dismantling phase. An alternative discussed could be epoxy resin liner.
This meeting was a first action within the new Hot Cell Facility work plan developed after the last meeting of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC). Its results will contribute also to the value engineering due to begin in September.
"Both, meeting and discussion, were fruitful," Magali Benchikhoune, Section Leader of the ITER Hot Cell, summarized. "The components' weight and equipment as well as their technical feasibility seem adequate for the anchorages and penetration. Regarding confinement issues, a concept developed at La Hague (see related article in this issue) seems promising."
Gida Sheila, the elder daughter of the Benfatto family, was born in the UK when Ivone and his wife moved to Culham where Ivone worked as associated staff for JET. In December 1993 the couple moved to Naka and in June 1994 Enrica gave birth to Stella Mirai. A few years later they moved houses in Naka — and soon after son Elia Taro was born.
So, whenever Ivone and his wife moved to another country or just into a new house up the street, another child was born. Therefore it was somewhat of a high risk to leave Japan and to move to Garching. But taking risks is Ivone's profession: "I am a fusion scientist. If there is a problem, I solve it!"
A few weeks ago, on 12 June, Stella became 14 years old. If you want to read what Stella herself thinks about her changing life with and around ITER, click here...
Caesar's bust, along with several other statues and artifacts, had been brought to light last October, in Arles, by a team of underwater archaeologists led by veteran chief curator and diver Luc Long. Most of their harvest had been exceptional, but Caesar's bust was unique: it is the only one of two surviving representations of the ruler, made while he was still alive. The work of art is strikingly realistic — wrinkles, expression, prominent Adam's apple and receding hairline are similar to those that appear in coins minted in the years before his assassination, in 52 BC.
The archaeologists wanted to investigate the internal structure of the marble bust, which appeared to be not of one piece. "In order to preserve this masterpiece to the best of our ability, this kind of information is of the utmost importance", says Luc Long.
Using non-intrusive gamma rays techniques usually applied to characterizing the contents of nuclear waste drums, LMN was able to obtain tomographs of the bust, clearly showing the staples holding the original part and a later addition at the back of the head. Two bronze statues, a gold-plated winged Victory and one of a slave or a prisoner, along with a delicate bronze arm, have been treated with the same techniques and have delivered equally important information.
Caesar's bust and the other statues are now back in the archaeologists' laboratories in Arles. They will star in a major exhibition at the Musee departemental de l'Arles antique late in 2009.
In September 2007, there were only 80 students. At the end of the first school year in June, there were 133 students and at the beginning of the school year in September 2008, 190 children will attend the school. Construction work for the new school campus will start this month and its first phase will be ready for 2009.
The deadline for the Principality of Monaco/ITER Postdoctoral Fellowships 2008 has passed. 28 persons from all seven ITER Member states have applied for the Fellowship Program sponsored by the Principality of Monaco, amongst them five women. First interviews will commence at the end of July, the successful candidates are expected to arrive on site towards the end of this year.
Everyone is welcome! See you there!
The objective of the visit by IO representatives to La Hague was to see this large industrial nuclear facility, especially its Hot Cells," Magali Benchikhoune, Leader of the ITER Hot Cell Section, summarized. Further discussed were various design issues, means of optimization based on a broad feedback, and — last but not least — issues of maintainability and operability in nuclear zones where remote handling is mandatory.
Paul-Henri Rebut, who had led the design team from its inception in 1973 and who went on to become the second JET Director gave a fascinating talk on the development of the project. (download a PDF of the talk).
Francesco Romanelli, the current director, talked of JET's progress to date and particularly its role in relation to ITER: "During the ITER construction phase JET will remain the best asset of the world fusion community. JET is the machine closest to the ITER parameters and the only one that can use Tritium and Beryllium. In the next years, until the upgrade of JT60-U is completed, JET will be the largest tokamak of its class in operation and therefore will be the ideal machine where the scientists who will collaborate on ITER can start working together to develop a common strategy on ITER scenarios, where natural leaderships can emerge and where researchers can be trained on how to operate a multi-MA device. To this aim JET is further opening to the participation of all the other ITER Parties."
The ITER Domestic Agency in Japan, ITER-JADA, has updated its website on ITER (English version is limited):
There is also an updated page of the ITER site preparations, for the moment only in Japanese: