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News & Media


Of Interest

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Norbert Holtkamp, ITER PDDG
This week here in Cadarache, all attention will be focused on a series of important meetings. We start on Monday with the Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC), which will be followed by the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) on Wednesday and the Council Preparatory Working Group on Friday. All advisory panels are convening in order to assess the progress the ITER Organization is making on both a technical and a managerial level. They advise the Council and their input is of course crucial to gain the support that we need.

The Science and Technology Advisory Committee will focus its attention on the updated schedule which allows—for the first time—an integrated view ranging from the beginning of construction, through commissioning, and on to Deuterium-Tritium operation. This schedule will also be at the heart of discussions within the Management Advisory Committee, which will assess the resources necessary for execution. The associated staffing plans, systems engineering and integration between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies are highlights as well.

Both meetings will be immediately followed by the Council Preparatory Working Group in order to make all necessary preparations for the next ITER Council meeting which will be held in Japan from 17-18 June. On Sunday, our busy week will be concluded with an ITER Organization-Domestic Agencies coordination meeting that will focus on the outcome of the STAC and MAC meetings, as well as on its important regular business of continuing to construct ITER as fast as possible.

From 2-3 May, the MT21 Program Committee met at the Chinese Acadamy of Sciences in Bejing to review the 848 proposed contributions to the Hefei conference later this year.
At the 21st International Conference on Magnet Technology (MT-21), scientists and engineers from around the world will meet to report and discuss the latest progress in the science, technology and applications of magnets. MT-21 will take place in Hefei, Anhui, China, from 18-23 October 2009. The conference will be hosted by the Institute of Electrical Engineering and Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Amongst the 848 abstracts that have been submitted, about 30 relate to the ITER magnets or magnet components, and another 30 to fusion-related magnet systems.

A year and a half ago, in November 2007, visible construction work began on the ITER Itinerary. Preparatory work had started almost two years earlier, with archaeological surveys, real estate appropriations, public inquiries and negotiations with all the parties concerned by the works. "And there were lots of parties involved," says Nadia Fabre, the ITER Itinerary Project Manager within Mission ITER/Office of Regional Infrastructures. "The electricity, gas and telephone authorities; the national railway system; the Port Authority; the Canal de Provence; you name them ..."

Today, the works have entered their final phase. In November this year, the 106 kilometre-long itinerary will be finished, allowing for the first test convoy to be organized. "Considering all the bad weather we had to cope with in the past twelve months, we've done rather well," says Nadia. "But we still have to complete the new harbour at the Port de la Pointe on the Étang de Berre, the finishing works on two bridges in Lambesc and Jouques and the fording of the Arc River in Berre."

Preparation and anticipation is essential in complex projects like the ITER itinerary. "But you can't anticipate everything," says Nadia, who sees herself as the conductor of the "orchestra." In some places, the bedrock was located much deeper than the borings had indicated. In others, the mapping of the underground water, gas and electricity networks lacked precision. "At the Port de la Pointe, the harbour we're building is located between an oil tanker port and a gas terminal, and we can't work when ships are docking. But their schedule is often unreliable — you plan on an arrival on Monday and the ship shows up the following Wednesday..."

For public works of this size and complexity, however, delays have been almost negligible. For Nadia, rising to the challenge came with a reward: she's been put in charge of all major roadworks in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, which includes the long-delayed bypass highway north of Marseille (Rocade L2), the tunnel through downtown Toulon, another one in Tende, on the French-Italian border, and several motorway projects in Avignon, Nice, Arles and the southern Alps. "All in all, it adds up to something like ten ITER Itineraries—quite an exciting experience!"

Click here to view photos of the itinerary...

The inflatable gateway to the solar system made it to the BBC newsdesk.
The last week in April, the Culham Science Centre in the UK toured schools with its Sun Dome, teaching children about the stars and how the fusion of atoms could hold the key to Earth's energy needs. The Sun Dome is not an ordinary tent: it's an inflatable planetarium ... a gateway to the Solar System. The Sun Dome has visited more than 120 schools thus far and has been enjoyed by 8,000 children—a fact that made it into the BBC South evening news.

Near: Even though their specialties are transport, tourism and logistics, the students from the Alexandre Dumas Professional School in Cavaillon and their exchange fellows from Munich had a great time on the ITER site learning about the energy that powers the stars.

Far: From Finland all the way down to France - students from the Technical University of Helsinki were welcomed on site by Tommi Jokinen, Welding Engineer in the ITER Tokamak Department.

Sabina Griffith, Newsline Editor
Thank you very much for your interest in the ITER Newsline, the weekly online-magazine published by the ITER Organization. Starting as of today, Newsline will be issued every Friday, as a summary of the week's events and progress, instead of Monday. If you are interested in the latest news related to the ITER Project, please also check the new website where we give you regular updates. For any comments, questions or suggestions please don't hesitate to contact us.

Takashi Inoue (Japan Atomic Energy Agency, JAEA) and Masanobu Tanaka (ITER) proudly present a prototype of the ceramic bushing ring for the ITER neutral beam heating system.
A prototype of the five bushing rings that serve as insulators on ITER's neutral beam heating system has been produced at KYOCERA Corporation and passed testing of the metalizing/brazing process at Hitachi Haramachi Electronics Company in Japan.

The bushing rings connect the high pressure transmission lines for the 1 megavolt power supply with the vacuum chamber inside the neutral beam system. The rings are made of a special ceramic (alumina) with conductor plates brazed for the electrical connections and measure 1.46 metres in diameter.

Round table in Moscow to discuss the conductor quality assurance policy. Photo: N.Mitchell
On 19 May, the ITER Magnet Division held a training session for the Conductor Production Quality Control Database at the Russian Domestic Agency in Moscow. The database, which is already in active use for the superconducting strand production in Japan, was welcomed both by the Russian Domesic Agency and the Bochvar Institute's manufacturing facility in Glasov, Siberia.

In order to get the message about safe driving across, there are many ways to attract attention. For example, when the Fermilab in the United States wanted to end speeding, it chose to say it with a smile by putting up signs that said "Drive carefully—leave collisions to the accelerator!" But whether a play on words is used or not, the message is the same: road signs must be respected at all times, both outside the ITER and CEA premises as well as inside. If you are caught driving too fast—and there are regular checks being conducted—your badge can be confiscated and driving access denied.