"Our department has the longest name of all: CODAC & IT, Heating and Current Drive, and Diagnostics (CHD) Department. For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, CODAC is the central control system of ITER.
All staff members have moved to Cadarache from Naka and Garching, and the Department has started functioning in earnest. By the end of February, the IT group will have shifted all of its facilities to Cadarache from Garching. By the middle of the year, we will have 30 staff members. At the moment, our main focus is the preparation of the work plan needed to complete the Procurement Packages, and activities needed to conclude the designs of the systems, so the specifications can be written.
A CODAC Project Management Working Group has been formed, including one member of each Participant Team, which will oversee the link between CODAC decisions and the implications for the Participant Teams. As CODAC is a procurement package financed though the Fund, in-sourcing of resources and out-sourcing of activities will play a significant role in the success of making the system work.
Heating and Current Drive systems are very high-tech systems, and they still need some R&D to validate various parameters of the system components. The multi-Party Test Facility for Neutral Beams, which is being set up at Padua in Italy, should clarify some issues related to heating and diagnostic beams.
A Diagnostic Port Engineering Task Force has now been formed which will interface with the Parties to resolve existing interface issues among the diagnostic systems which share a port plug. We are passing through a really exciting and hectic time and we are seeking the support from all the experts in these areas. We will keep you informed on the progress from time to time."
The preparation of the ITER site started on 29 January. By October 2007, part of an area of 180 hectares next to the Cadarache site will be prepared under the supervision of the Agence ITER France, for the construction of ITER. Great care has been taken to minimize the environmental impact of this work, including an environmental inventory of the flora and fauna and protective measures.
Tree-felling on parts of the first 75 hectares will be carried out before the end of March 2007 when the bird nesting season starts. Work to enable the erection of a provisional fence should be completed in April 2007.
Three important steps towards a better internet connection for ITER have recently been implemented. A high availability, high capacity (1 Gbps) firewall was implemented, the ITER network was directly connected to RENATER, (the French science network provider which provides the large bandwith needed for scientific data exchange), and the ITER IO received its own block of network address space.
"All in all these were very significant changes and I am pleased that the team of IT experts managed to make all these transitions with minimum interruption to the users", said Hans-Werner Bartels, Head of the ITER IT-Group. "I would also like to mention that we received a lot of help from CEA and RENATER. In addition we were helped by network experts from Garching and Barcelona who know our network configuration in great detail. With this excellent team this big transition was possible."
Since the signature of the ITER Agreement in Paris on 21 November 2006, China has made great progress on the establishment of the ITER China Office, which is affiliated to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). It is the entity which will provide the Chinese contributions to the ITER Organization. Under the leadership of Vice Minister Liu Yanhua of MOST, the ITER China Office will soon be transformed into the Chinese Domestic Agency, which will be the legal entity responsible for the implementation of the Chinese ITER fusion activities, and which will provide the ITER Organization with the components and procurement packages allocated to China.
The ITER China Office is divided into five departments: Project Management, Engineering, Quality Assurance, International Affairs, and Administration. Luo Delong, Contact Person for China, is the Deputy Director General of the ITER China Office, and is in charge of daily affairs related to ITER.
In order to develop fusion science and technology domestically, a Specialist Committee for National Magnetic Confinement Fusion has also been established, consisting of a chief scientist assisted by several specialists and experts from the fields of magnetic and inertial confinement fusion, ITER, and the educational community. The head of the committee is Professor Huo Yuping, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Science and both Contact Person and Participant Team Leader of China.
Since the Design Review of ITER was launched on 15 November last year, the eight Working Groups (Design Requirements & Physics Objectives, Safety & Licensing, Site & Building, Magnets, Heating & Current Drive, Tritium Plant, Vacuum Vessel and In-Vessel-Components) have collected and prioritized the issue cards (each describing a specific design issue), which now have to be resolved according to their priority.
To address issues that are relevant for more than one group, a first interface oriented design review meeting took place at the Chateau in Cadarache last week. Each of the eight working group was represented by its chairman and coordinator, plus in some cases one or two experts. The meeting was aimed at discussing probable interfaces between the various groups and how to solve the issues best. The form of documentation for the baseline 2007 was another topic for discussion, as well as the methods by which the output from the design review will enter the ITER procedure for design changes, should this be required.
Further "Interface Meetings" will be scheduled every six weeks. The goal is to produce a work plan for their resolution, which will be reported to a special Technical Advisory Committee in April and eventually to the participating teams and the ITER Council.
Although there is still little to see apart from temporary office buildings and the first signs of the site being cleared, ITER is already attracting a steady stream of representatives of the international media that shows no sign of slowing up.
In recent months, American, Spanish, British, and Russian journalists and photographers have made their way to Cadarache to interview ITER staff and report on the developments on the ITER site. The presence of the Tore Supra Tokamak and the Fusion Research group of the CEA (DRFC) help ensure that visitors can already enjoy the real fusion experience.
The International Standing Committee (ISC) for the International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology (ISFNT) has announced a call for nominations for the "Miya-Abdou Award" for outstanding technical contributions to the field of Fusion Nuclear Technology for younger scientists. The award is intended for scientists and engineers aged 40 or younger." The award will be presented at ISFNT-8 in Heidelberg, Germany, 30 September - 5 October, 2007. The deadline for nominations is 15 March 2007.
On Monday 5 February in Tokyo, the EU and the Japanese government signed the "Broader Approach" agreement that was initialled on 22 November 2006, the day after the signing of the ITER agreement in Paris. This agreement is part of the deal hammered out during the site decision process, defining a "privileged partnership" between the EU and Japan, and setting out the work to be carried out jointly by the EU and Japan in support of ITER. The EU/Japan agreement lasts 10 years and represents some 340 million Euro of European investment. The cooperation aims to complement the ITER project and to accelerate the development of fusion energy as a clean and sustainable energy source, by carrying out R&D and developing some advanced technologies for a future demonstration fusion power reactor (DEMO).
The Agreement between the Government of Japan and EURATOM was signed by Mr. Taro Aso, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Mr. Hugh Richardson, the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Commission to Japan. The full name is the Agreement for the Joint Implementation of the Broader Approach Activities in the Field of Fusion Energy Research.
Three large projects will be carried out in Japan under this Agreement, on a timescale compatible with the ITER construction phase. The first two projects (IFMIF design activities and International Fusion Energy Research Center, IFERC) will be carried out at Rokkasho, Aomori prefecture, and the third project (upgrade JT-60 tokamak) will be carried out at Naka, Ibaraki prefecture. Participation in each research project will be open to the other ITER Parties.
Born in 1941 in Volgograd, Dr. Valery Chuyanov received his PHD in Physics at Moscow State University in 1970, and Doctor of Science degree in 1976 working on feedback control of plasma instabilities. He also worked for short periods during this time at Culham and Livermore laboratories. At the Kurchatov Institute he was involved in the design, construction and experimental programs of three major mirror machines and two tokamaks, in different capacities ranging from junior scientific officer up to scientific leader of the project.
Valery Chuyanov actively participated in the ITER Conceptual Design Activities as head of Fusion Engineering Division at Kurchatov, Leader of the ITER USSR Home Team and member of the ITER Science and Technology Advisory Committee. He was appointed Deputy Director and Head of the San Diego Joint Work Site at the outset of the Engineering Design Activities. In 1999 he became Head of the Garching Joint Work Site. As Deputy Director-General he is responsible for Fusion Science and Technology.
The ITER Organization staff would like to wish their Chinese and Korean colleagues a very happy New Year!. In order to strengthen the security efforts during the construction phase of the ITER building, Alain Le Bris has been appointed "ITER Building Security Supervisor (Chef d' Installation.)" As such he will be responsible for the safety and security of all activities in the ITER office buildings on the CEA site. In particular he has the authority to stop all ongoing work if necessary. Sylvain Duparchy has been appointed his deputy. Dr Paul Thomas, an active member of the fusion research community for 27 years, has been appointed Editor of the journal Nuclear Fusion. Dr Thomas has been a research scientist at CEA-Cadarache in France since 2000 and before that was at JET for 20 years. His fusion research interests have included tokamak operations, DT experiments, diagnostics and the use of resonant magnetic perturbations to modify plasma behaviour. He is presently engaged in high current, high shape experiments on JET and the ITER Design Review.
In his first editorial for Nuclear Fusion, Dr Thomas acknowledged the significant contribution to the journal made by the outgoing Editor, Professor Chris Schueller, "The departing Editor, Chris Schueller, will be a particularly difficult act to follow."