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News & Media


Of Interest

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Photo courtesy: Studio Magellan,
The road along the EDF Canal near Charleval and La Roque d'Antheron, where massive rocks had to be removed in order to widen the riverbank for the ITER transports, is ready and covered with tarmac. Once the ITER convoys have passed through, the new path will serve as a cycle- and footpath. Progress is also visible at Saint Christophe, where the convoys will have to bypass two old houses and, near their final destination, the Pont de Mirabeau.

View more photos here:

Left to right Walt Gardner (US), Robert Pearce (IO), Larry Baylor (US), Curt Gliss (IO), Jean Louis Bersier (IO), Dave Rasmussen (US), Liam (IO).
Ice is their profession, but the collaboration between the vacuum teams of US ITER and the ITER Organization is all but cold: last week the IO team witnessed the firing of the world largest "killer pellet" at Oak Ridge National Laboratory: A disruption mitigation pellet made of deuterium ice the size of a wine cork was fired at 600 m/s into a foil target. Such pellets are an option for disruption mitigation on ITER.

Jean-Louis Faure
The Security Section within the Safety and Security Department has a new boss - Jean-Louis Faure. He started work in security 32 years ago with a career that included 15 years travelling the world in the French Intelligence Services followed by years in industrial security, so the ITER Organization is welcoming an expert in all aspects of security. His work in the French Ministry of Defence included protection of companies with particular emphasis on nuclear work, while his later career involved work for Yves Saint Laurent (perfumes) and Sanofi (pharmaceuticals) after their takeover of YSL, followed by working for Thales in Saudi Arabia and Libya. He set up security departments in these organizations to deal with potential fraud, commercial secrets, brand/patent protection, protection of intellectual property and internal information.

Jean-Louis explains "security" has to include anything that could harm the organization resulting from deliberate actions, as opposed to "safety" which relates to accidental harm. So his remit includes all aspects of the IO: there will be risk assessments for people, IT, equipment, intellectual property... and so on. In common with the Safety Section, Security Section is independent of the departmental structure.

Jean-Louis has a straightforward attitude to making security effective: make everyone understand what is involved - why and how to adhere to security guidelines - with clear lines of responsibility and appropriate training. As he says "security may be very high-tech, but you have to always remember the human factor".

Joseph Onstott joined ITER on September 17th as a Budget Officer within the Finance Division of the Department of Administration.

Before coming to ITER he worked at ATK Launch Systems in Utah, USA on the Launch Abort System for the new NASA Ares I spacecraft. Prior to that, he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory on several projects, including the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program.

Joseph has three children - two boys and one girl. Their ages are nine, seven, and four. They are still in the States, but will be joining him at the beginning of October.

In his free time he enjoys playing and watching sports, and he also likes camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.

Every French pupil learns in grade school these famous words, which have resounded for more than two centuries as the opening line of the French Revolution: "Tell those who send you that we are here by the will of the people and will leave only by the force of bayonets!"

The date was June 23rd 1789, the place the royal-tennis court ("Jeu de Paume") in Versailles, where King Louis the 16th had summoned an assembly of his subjects, and the man who uttered them a 39 year old nobleman named Honore-Gabriel de Riqueti, better known as the Count of Mirabeau.

The Riquetis, wealthy merchants from Marseilles, had acquired the fief of Mirabeau, six miles to the west of Cadarache, in the 1570's. Two centuries later, Count Honore-Gabriel, a fiery, rebellious character, defiant of the King and a "Friend of the People", was to represent Aix and Marseilles' lower classes at the "Estates General"--a very unlikely case of a nobleman siding with the Revolution.

Mirabeau advocated a constitutional monarchy, which was still an option in the early years of the Revolution. Despite his moderate political stand he was immensely popular among the little people. He had just been elected president of the National Assembly when he died, at age 42, in April 1791. His body was buried in the Pantheon, the newly built lay temple where Great Men were to be laid to rest. Three years later, documents were found in an "iron cabinet", exposing Mirabeau's secret correspondence with the King. This was perceived as treason and the hero's remains were taken out of the Pantheon and re-interred in an anonymous tomb.

In Aix, Marseilles and the whole region, where his family had deep roots, the memory of "The Flaming Torch of Provence" is still cherished. Aix's most prestigious avenue, the Cours Mirabeau, bears his name, as does, since 1902, the village of Les Pennes-Mirabeau in the Marseilles' suburbs.

There would undoubtedly be more rues, plazas and boulevards Mirabeau had the contents of the "iron cabinet" never been found and the fiery Count's collusion with the Court not exposed.

Dr. Alan Costley
Dr. Alan Costley, Head of the ITER Diagnostic Section, was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society for "his pioneering contributions to the physics understanding of electron cyclotron emission in fusion plasmas, and his outstanding leadership in developing the plasma diagnostic systems for ITER".

More than 250 people and about 30 companies are currently working on the ITER construction site. In order to provide first aid in case of an accident or emergency, an infirmary was opened on 23 June this year. Vignali Vanina (see picture) is one of 10 nurses that do shifts between 8:00 and 19:00. "We have all the equipment - including a defibrillator and spry Fiat Panda 4x4 with oxygen bottles and emergence kit - to provide first aid until the ambulance arrives."

Since its opening, the infirmary counted 26 patients, all except for one with minor bruises or seeking advice. One worker severely injured his thumb and had to be taken to the hospital.