Lina, although Spanish, was born and lived in Casablanca until she went to university in Moscow. So she speaks French and Russian almost as fluently as her native Spanish. She left Moscow with a Masters in physics and mathematics, specialised in plasma physics. Back to Spain, to teach physics in a French high school in Madrid, then on to do her PhD thesis on the subject of runaway electrons at the Universidad de Complutenze in association with the Spanish fusion laboratory CIEMAT. She worked at CIEMAT from 1982-2007 and started work on the ITER project in 2001 preparing for Europe both the Site candidature at Cadarache and the one for Spain.. After passing through Barcelona before it became F4E she joined ITER in September 2007.
Lina's title is Head of Safety Control Section, one of those groups that has to be independent of all the technical departments, because it acts like an auditor (Article 9 of the French "Quality Order 1984, Concerning Basic Nuclear Installation design, construction and operation quality) checking that everything ITER proposes to do fits with the international and French regulations for an "Installation Nucleaire.de Base, INB" as ITER is categorised (Mainly the "13 June 2006 law on transparency and security of nuclear materials", the so called TSN law)
Together with her colleague Jeong Bae Lee (an engineer who has worked for the nuclear regulator in Korea) physicist Lina's task is not only to act as an "internal regulator" but also to act as the official interface with the ASN (the French nuclear safety regulatory body) to provide in particular the documents of the Licensing Process to justify and demonstrate that what ITER is doing complies with regulations on nuclear safety, radio-protection, nuclear waste and materials. In addition, they have to put in place training on safety and related issues and instill a safety culture in the ITER Organization. They will also provide technical support for preparation for the CLI (the Commission Locale d'Information) where ITER will meet its local politicians and public. It's a small team for such a large task, but Lina is hopeful that more staff can be recruited in the future.