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Principal Deputy Director General Nominee, Norbert Holtkamp "Now the ITER Organization has begun operation, the first point on the agenda is to formulate a new and updated baseline design for the ITER device. Currently, the design review is under way, which aims at presenting a new baseline to the ITER Council late spring next year. The review is carried out by experts from the ITER Parties and the ITER Organization, and ouside experts, who all have been invited by ITER to contribute their expertise. The experts review so-called issue cards, descriptions of design issues which have been submitted by experts from all over the world. "Some meetings, such as those on safety and code standards, heating systems and magnets, have already happened, and more are planned. The meetings proceed very constructively, with people eager to solve the problems and focussing on key questions. The progress on the various issues will be reported in a meeting on 12-14 December, where we will discuss how to put appropriate resources to these issues in order to keep to our construction schedule. We are happy to see that we have put a process in place that functions well, and fulfils its purpose."

Korea is a country rather poor in domestic energy resources. More than 97 percent of the country's energy needs are imported, and the amount of energy required is increasing fast. So Korea is eagerly looking for alternatives such as a commercial fusion reactor. The ratification of the ITER Agreement in Korea is expected around February 2007, after which the Korean Domestic Agency can be established before summer. Where this agency will be is not yet officially decided, but it will most probably be in Daejeon, a city about 140 kilometres away from Seoul. The Domestic Agency would probably be the National Fusion Research Centre (NFRC).

On the verge of the ITER signing ceremony in Paris on November 21, ITER-Newsline talked to Ki-Jung Jung, Participant Team Leader of the Korean party about the present situation and the meaning of the ITER project to his country.

Michel Chatelier, after receiving the Order Nationale du Mérite.
At a ceremony in the Château Cadarache, the Director of the Fusion Department of the CEA, Michel Chatelier, was awarded the Order Nationale du Mérite in recognition of his work over the years. It was presented by Yves Caristan, Director of CEA Saclay.

On Monday, 4 December 2006, the House Standing Committee on Industry and Resources of the Australian government tabled its report on the Parliamentary Inquiry into developing Australia's non-fossil fuel energy industry. One of the recommendations made to the Australian government was to "negotiate an appropriate subscription for Australia to the ITER project on a whole-of-Government basis; to support the establishment of a national research centre to consolidate and coordinate Australia's efforts in fusion related research; and to examine the merits of establishing fusion science as a national research priority".

The report adds: "The Committee is persuaded of the immense potential benefit that fusion energy represents for the world and, specifically, the potential benefits for Australian science and industry from involvement in the ITER project. The Committee believes that involvement in this experimentation is simply too important for the nation to miss, even if the introduction of fusion power is indeed many decades off. Accordingly, the Committee recommends that Australia secure formal involvement in the ITER project"

The full government report can be found here.

On 11 December, the ITER Organization opened 52 new positions. The job descriptions and instructions on how to apply can be found here.

Jean Jacquinot signing the book.
Jean Jacquinot, formerly Director of JET and Director of DRFC Cadarache, currently Scientific Adviser to the French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy was at Cadarache on 28 November to give a seminar on the evolution of ITER, a subject covered in his book entitled "ITER — le chemin des étoiles?".

Co-authored by Robert Arnoux, a prominent local journalist, the book is aimed at a non-scientific audience and is already selling well. On this occasion Dr Jacquinot did not go into the science of ITER, but instead gave a fascinating account of how the experiment came to be built after many years of planning, discussions and geo-political wrangling. After the talk, he signed copies of the book for members of the large audience.

Dr Carlos Alejaldre , DDG Nominee for Safety and Security.
Born in 1952 in Zaragoza, Dr. Carlos Alejaldre received his Doctorate in Electrophysics at the Polytechnical Institute of New York in 1983 and became an Assistant Professor there. He joined the Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Technologicas (CIEMAT). In 1986 he became Head of Theory and Plasma Simulation, in 1993 he became Director of the Spanish National Laboratory for Magnetic Confinement Fusion. From 1999 to 2004 he was head of the CIEMAT-Euratom Association. In 2004 he was appointed Director General for Technology at the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.

Dr Carlos Alejaldre , DDG Nominee for Safety and Security Between October 2001 and 2003 Alejaldre was also Director of ITER Spain, responsible for preparing and presenting Spanish proposals for siting ITER in Vandellós. So there should be no doubt concerning his commitment to the project in which he sees "the global solution for the future". As Deputy Director General Alejaldre will be responsible for all safety and security issues of ITER, for all the necessary licensing issues, and for the assurance of a nuclear safety culture in ITER. "It´s my professional challenge to make ITER materialize. This is the right project at the right moment."

ITER staff currently at the Cadarache site. In the near future, collegues from Naka and Garching are expected to join the team in France. Click on the picture for a high-resolution image.
The ITER staff on site is expanding fast. To mark the new phase of the ITER Organization after the signature on 21 November, a group photo was made of the staff currently present at the ITER site, which is shown below.