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Of Interest

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Shaoqi Wang, Deputy Director-General for Administration
Work in the ITER Administration Department is currently very much focused on the next Council meeting that will take place here in Cadarache on 19-20 November. Approaching the end of the year is traditionally the busiest time for any finance division. On top of that we are preparing all the numbers and figures related to the execution of this year's budget, the draft budget for next year and the preliminary budgets for the following years up to 2011.

End of September/beginning of October, the Financial Audit Board convened here in Cadarache for the second time. The follow-up actions to the 2007 audit have been reviewed and were found satisfactory. The Board drew up its Audit Plan for 2008 and discussed possible changes to its Terms of Reference, including considerations of how best to manage future audits, possibly through support staff from the Members, depending on approval by the ITER Council. During the second and third week of April 2009 the Board will start examining the 2008 accounts with a fine-tooth comb.

Our first priority in the Procurement & Contracts Division is to strengthen the team and to speed up the procedures. Things are already improving: within the last few weeks contracts have been placed for such diverse areas as the steady state electrical power network (SSEN), electrical engineering support, security services to JWS2, quench behaviour and quench detection in the ITER magnet systems, the detailed assessment of the manufacture of the diagnostic upper port plug, consultancy for toroidal field coil industrialization, a manufacturing study of an ion cyclotron antenna, a blanket manifold manufacturing assessment, and support of the conductor qualification program. Tender evaluations were completed for various work packages; more tenders have been issued or are in the process of evaluation.

For all those who are not directly dealing with the internal program SAP you will have realized when receiving your payroll for the month of October that the document looks different from that of previous months. This is due to the fact that SAP has finally gone live in the Human Resources, Finance and Procurement Divisions. There are still some teething problems to overcome, but the new system is stabilizing due to the support offered by our own staff within Administration and the external "SAP-helpdesk" that has been implemented here on site.

Concerning recruitment, the ITER Organization has welcomed 88 new staff members since the beginning of this year. As of 30 October 2008, we now have a total of 293 staff, including 217 professional and 76 technical support staff, plus 24 temporary staff and 4 visiting researchers. By early 2009, the total will be 340, with new staff scheduled to arrive. Some 112 posts are currently in the recruitment process, of which 80 posts are new.

The increasing number of staff in our ITER team leads me to another challenge we have to face: office space and the move into Joint Work Site II (JWS2), our new Headquarters on site. Next week, on Monday 17 November, JWS2 will officially be handed over from Agence Iter France to the ITER Organization. The next weekend, 22-23 November, the first departments will have to pack up and move. But until then there are still some tasks to complete, such as telephone cables to hide and computers and air conditioners to install, although these days we prefer to speak of heaters. All this requires a whole lot of logistics involving, of course, our safety and security officers, as we will then be working on a construction site.

Gary Johnson, head of the ITER Tokamak Department, briefing the members of the Technical Advisory Group.
Last week, 3-5 November, the Technical Advisory Group to ITER (TAG) met at the Château de Cadarache. At its fourth meeting, the independent experts from various fusion research institutes around the globe focused on the project's progress, its schedule and resources.

"The Advisory Group was impressed by the overall progress achieved in building up the ITER Organization staff as well as project organization," Michel Huguet, Chairman of the TAG, said. "We also noted the good progress in key Tokamak components such as magnets and the vacuum vessel where design is stabilizing. Regarding the divertor design, we think it is premature to decide whether the first operation of ITER should be with a carbon-reinforced carbon or a tungsten divertor."

Remote handling nevertheless remains an area of concern for the Group, "as we believe resources in this area are significantly underestimated." So TAG recommends a strong increase in resources and "giving priority to a systematic analysis of the remote handling compatibility of components and a full review of remote handling technologies and required test rigs."

TAG also expressed its full support for the proposed Integrated Product Team (IPT) scheme which is viewed as essential to establishing an efficient working relationship between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies, providing a way to solve a number of issues at working level.

The road to ITER is moving forward: just outside Peyrolles, the old concrete bridge over the Réal, on the D96, is currently being replaced by a new steel structure in order to withstand the weight of the future ITER "extra-large convoys."

The remaining part of the concrete bridge was cut up last week by a large, self-driven, rail-guided diamond saw. It took just one morning for Philippe Lagrange's men, from Fora-SDD, a small company based in Les-Pennes-Mirabeau, to cut the last 40-centimetre-thick wall into large slabs that could then easily be lifted by a crane.

Work on that bridge started in May this year and will be completed early in 2009 allowing two-way traffic to resume.

The Canal de Provence in Rians. (© Société du Canal de Provence)
Marseille's largest and most spectacular monument is not a cathedral, nor a castle, nor a government building. It is a water tower, built in the 1860s to celebrate the completion of the "Canal de Marseille" and the arrival of the Durance waters in the city.

The size of the Palais Longchamp and its exuberant architecture tell a lot about the importance of water in this region. For the past two millennia, Roman generals, medieval and Renaissance engineers, 19th century entrepreneurs and present-day public authorities have dug canals and raised aqueducts to provide water to the parched lands of Lower Provence.

Of all these achievements, the Canal de Provence is one of the most ambitious and has proved the most effective.

The vast hydroelectric development program of the late 1950s had provided the Durance and Verdon Rivers with powerful dams, huge water reservoirs and wide canals—like the one running along the Durance riverbed close to Cadarache.

These new facilities, which account for 10 percent of the national hydroelectric potential, presented the local governments with a historical opportunity. A "global approach" to the water issue could at last be implemented, and in 1957 the departments of Var and Bouches-du-Rhône, along with the City of Marseille, established a new authority to manage and distribute the precious resource. Water, now plentiful and available all through the year, was to be the key to the area's economic development.

Half a century and EUR 2 billion of investment later, the Société du Canal de Provence (SCP) delivers water to more than two million people in 110 towns and villages; 6,000 farms with a total of 45,000 irrigated hectares, and 500 factories large and small.

SCP's network of canals (sometimes shared with the French Energy Authority, EDF) tunnels and aqueducts runs for close to 700 kilometres from Gréoux-les-Bains to the water reservoirs in the Marseille, Aix and Toulon area.

Like Cadarache installations, ITER will draw on SCP's water—cooling the machine will require some 1.7 million cubic metres of water a year, two-thirds of which will evaporate, while approximately one-third will be returned to the Durance River. Altogether, ITER's consommation will account for less than 0.25 percent of the 230 million cubic metres the network transports every year.

The American Nuclear Society Fusion Energy Division has announced the following awards for 2008:

The Outstanding Achievement Award is presented to John D. Sethian (NRL). The award cites Sethian for "his research in laser and target systems for inertial fusion energy and for his superlative technical leadership of the High Average Power Laser (HAPL) program."

The Technical Accomplishment Award is presented to Joseph Minervini (MIT) and to Mark Tillack (UCSD). The award cites Minervini for "his outstanding work and leadership on the US ITER central solenoid model coil." It cites Tillack for "his scientific research on laser-matter interactions and final optics for inertial fusion energy systems."

A Special Distinguished Service Award was also presented to Kenneth R.Schultz (General Atomics). The award notes his consistent support of the ANS Fusion Energy Division "by holding many division offices, several times serving on the executive committee, serving on national committees and the board of directors, serving on technical and editorial boards, and mentoring students and younger Fusion Energy Division members."

Gabriel Marbach
Gabriel Marbach has been nominated as the new head of the Institute of Magnetic Fusion Research (IRFM), the fusion branch within CEA that operates the Tore Supra tokamak. He has been the deputy to the former head Michel Chatelier for seven years.

Gabriel Marbach, a mechanical engineer who started his career in the development of fast breeder reactors, was one of the active promoters of ITER during negotiations, introducing the project to the public, stakeholders and also to the French authorities.

As head of the IRFM, Marbach is in charge of around 300 staff. One of the main objectives of the Institute is to develop the control of long plasma discharges in terms of plasma physics, technology, and operation. A major step will be the installation on Tore Supra of an enhancement of the current drive systems next year. Another mission of the Institute is to contribute to ITER and the Broader Approach projects.

Jacques Farineau
Jacques Farineau is the newly arrived senior adviser to Norbert Holtkamp on industrial matters. Like his scientific counterpart Gunter Janeschitz, he will work across departments in a "transverse integration" role. He will act as the interface between the various suppliers to ITER in his capacity as an expert on all aspects of industrial companies—evaluating their capacities and being the main point of contact for the international organization. He will be dealing with coordination of the on-site industrial activities of the Domestic Agencies as well as with mitigating industrial risks and making sure that industrial aspects are taken into account at each level of activity. Interfacing with CEA, he will also develop and monitor the needs of the organization for any industrial involvement, short and long term.

Prior to coming to ITER he has had a long career at Airbus in Toulouse—24 years in fact. There he has gained the kind of experience that will be invaluable to ITER: working in a global and international enterprise with fully owned subsidiaries and spare parts and training centres; industrial cooperation and partnerships with major companies all over the world; four main sites in Europe each producing a complete section of the aircraft, which is then transported to the Airbus final assembly lines in Toulouse or Hamburg.

Plenty of similarities with ITER there ...

He started work at Airbus after completing his doctorate in engineering at the ONERA research centre at Toulouse, working on the A320 initially, followed by a project that saw him working in collaboration with industry in China. The last seven years were spent heading systems development activities on the new A380 aircraft, from the blank page to the delivery to the final assembly line—a project he describes as incredibly exciting and challenging, with ambitious deadlines and with the situation that if the A380 project failed, then Airbus would be in a dramatic position.

Jacques has moved recently to Aix, where his partner and two children will join him in January.

On 7 November, members of the Direction Régionale du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Formation Professionnelle (DRTEFP), the Mission de Développement Economique régionale (MDER), and Mission ITER visited Cadarache where they met the ITER Director-General, Kaname Ikeda, and members of the ITER management team.

In the first row from left to right: M.Tassel, MDER director; M.Ikeda, ITER Director-General; M.Cascino, DRTEFP director general; Mme Amenc-Antoni, senior advisor to the ITER Director-General; M.Bigay, president of MDER.

In the second row: M.Tuinder, ITER legal expert and M.Miège, Mission ITER director.