Team spirit is extremely important for an effective and coherent team. In an international environment like ITER, this is especially true and therefore the CODAC team (with members from four parties) recently met for a one-day out-of-office brainstorming session. The idea was to interact freely and closely and by this to forge a team.
It was a lively meeting with fruitful discussions on CODAC related design issues. In this meeting it became obvious that the various tasks and interfaces our department is charged with require more effort and teamwork. Especially as we are now entering the engineering design phase. But with more new staff members joining us soon, we hope to grow in strength and thus to be able to deliver goods in time.
At the same time, as the activities increase all round the globe, the need for a better and more efficient mode of communicating among all ITER members became very obvious. This is thus one of the most significant objectives to be achieved in the IT division in 2008. We have already implemented an integrated desktop communication system from Microsoft which covers desktop audio and video conferencing, screen and application sharing, as well as instant messaging. We hope that this will greatly improve the day to day needs of the ITER Organization, the Domestic Agencies and their collaborators for an efficient communication around the globe.
No one better than Californian photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) has captured the majesty and grandeur of the American landscape. Using a meticulous darkroom technique known as "zone printing", his vision magnified the humble and the grandiose alike, a full moon rising over a Mexican village or a clearing winter storm over Yosemite National Park.
Adam's relation to nature was both aesthetic and mystical. Throughout his life he worked and lobbied to preserve the wilderness and the great vistas of the American West. His book on The John Muir Trail was instrumental in the creation of Kings Canyon National Park in1940.
One of Adam's lesser known passions was fusion energy. In Autumn 1966, he had been commissioned by Livermore National Laboratories to photograph various machines and installations, among them "ALICE" (Adiabatic Low-energy Injection and Confinement Experiment), a "mirror machine" which was expected to demonstrate "scientific feasibility" by the end of the decade...
The Livermore commission was Adam's first exposure to fusion energy. Later in life, he became one of its most ardent advocates. In "Ansel Adams, an autobiography", published posthumously in 1984, the photographer tells of his June 1983 meeting with fellow Californian Ronald Reagan, whose environmental policies he had been criticizing sharply for years. "I suggested he take $ 10 billion from his defense program and apply it to a crash program for magnetic fusion development. Reagan raised an eyebrow at my temerity, but I believe it is obvious that, once fusion power is achieved, the energy shortage will be past."
Two and a half years later, on November 19, 1985, President Reagan was meeting Secretary General Gorbachev in Geneva, laying the political foundations of what was to become the ITER project. Maybe, on that occasion, the US president remembered the words of the bearded 82-year-old photographer-conservationist who had caused his eyebrow to rise. Adams had died the year before, convinced, as he expressed in his last interview to a San Francisco magazine, that fusion "wasn't that far down the road", that is, "only as far as our leaders want to make it."
To say that Toshiyuki Ide was in the nuclear business before he could walk may be an overstatement, but it is no exaggeration to state that it runs in the family. Toshi's father, who was a government official in the nuclear field, certainly transmitted his knowledge and passion for that field to his son. So after Toshi, who is Senior Administrator at the ITER Finance Division, finished his studies in Macroeconomics in 1981, it was no surprise that he would join the JAEA (Japan Atomic Energy Agency).
And his encounter with nuclear fusion was almost immediate. His first assignment was in project management of JT 60, the Japanese tokamak, which at that time was being built. When he changed assignments after almost 3 years, to work as a member of the project management team of the nuclear ship project in 1983, he also got a new boss... a certain Mr Kaname Ikeda... a small world indeed.
In 1989, when ITER was in the engineering design phase, Toshi joined the project and was at that time involved in the negotiations to get it to Japan. When the decision was taken to split up into three sites, Naka in Japan, Garching in Germany and San Diego in the US, he was part of the team responsible for accommodation, housing and schooling of the new arrivals and their families. This understanding of the ins and outs of relocating people came in handy when, after various other assignments with the JAEA, one of which in Vienna, he was offered a position with ITER in Cadarache in 2006. "I have always been an advocate of Cadarache as the ideal host of the ITER project," says Toshi, "and getting the chance to go and see for myself was a great opportunity. Having been here for more than two years now, what strikes me most is the exponential growth of the organization. Making sure our infrastructure, systems and administrative processes keep pace with this growth is probably the biggest current challenge in terms of management". In his current position within ITER, Toshi is part of the team that is making the implementation of SAP happen. He is also responsible for some of the financial reporting.
The works for the ITER itinerary are progressing. In order to enable the convoys delivering the big ITER parts to Cadarache (the convoys can reach lengths of up to 61 meters), the roundabouts near the CEA main entrance and in front of the Chantier RES on the road towards Vinon-sur-Verdon have been adapted. First convoys with dummy loads will test the ITER itinerary in 2009.
More information (in French) can be found here.