you're currently reading the news digest published from 11 Sep 2023 to 18 Sep 2023



Safety Day | From phone straps to neuroscience

The setting, the action, the small groups strolling from stand to stand ... it all felt like a village fair. Visitors could play ping-pong, maneuver toy forklifts, test their skills at various 'games,' have a taste of augmented reality and even take a ride 40 metres in the air in a bucket attached to a telescopic crane. But beyond the fun and occasional excitement, these activities and experiences had a very serious purpose: making staff and contractors aware of the importance of safety in each and every action, whether trivial and routine or exceptional and sophisticated. 'Our pursuit of technical excellence is not only about achieving outstanding results; it's also about ensuring the safety of every task we perform,' stressed Sergio Orlandi, the head of the ITER Construction Project, in his welcome address. 'Remember, safety is not an option,' he added. It is 'a way of life' with a simple but essential objective: ensuring that everyone returns home safely at the end of each day. Following established rules is of course essential. But even more fundamental, said Yutaka Kamada, ITER Deputy Director-General for Science and Technology, is 'to understand the reason why a rule is important and how it can save your life, your staff's life and their families' happiness.' The return of experience from the 2021 and 2022 editions greatly contributed to the themes and approaches of this year's ITER Safety Day on Thursday 14 September. 'We realized that some safety aspects—such as psychosocial risks, managerial practices and the necessity to integrate safety constraints when designing a component or system—needed to be included, illustrated and explained,' says Gilles Perrier, ITER Head of the Safety and Quality Department. Now in its third edition (and the first fully post-COVID) the ITER Safety Day has become an important annual get together, where one can have direct interaction with top management. The event is breaking professional and hierarchical barriers because, precisely, we are all leaders when it comes to safety. Or, in Orlandi's words: 'Safety is a collective effort. It knows no boundaries or job titles.' From the choice of a proper smartphone strap to the tricks the brain can play on the perception of reality, the ITER Safety Day explored a vast amount of territory, much larger than what one usually perceives as 'safety.' More than just an 'event,' Perrier insisted that it was 'a call to action and a renewed commitment, knowing that our collective efforts will keep us safe and enable our organization to thrive.'

Magnet technology | 1,000 experts convene in nearby Aix-en-Provence

The cultural heart of Aix-en-Provence, France—a triangle formed by theatre (Le Grand Théatre), dance (Le Pavillon Noir) and music (Le Conservatoire) hubs—became the centre stage last week for the world's largest gathering of magnet specialists. Nearly 1,000 scientists and engineers convened for the 28th International Conference on Magnet Technology (MT-28) to share the latest advances in a wide array of fields. Hundreds of presentations (713) showcased magnet applications in fusion energy, high-energy physics, medical devices and sustainable engineering. Fully 20 percent of participants were international students and 123 industrial partners set up stands in the exhibition hall. A comprehensive report will be published in the next issue of the ITER Newsline.

ITER Members | Director-General Barabaschi visits China

During his first visit to China as the head of the ITER Project, Director-General Pietro Barabaschi met with members of government, leaders in innovation, and the ITER China team. On 9 September 2023, ITER Director-General Pietro Barabaschi and ITER Deputy Director-General for Corporate, Luo Delong, were received at the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) by Minister Wang Zhigang. "The Chinese government has always attached great importance to and deeply participated in ITER," said the Minister, after hearing updates on the project. "MOST will continue to strengthen cooperation with all ITER Members to jointly respond to challenges and jointly promote the successful realization of ITER's goals." The ITER Director-General expressed appreciation for China's collaboration and contributions, saying that he "looked forward to further expanding and deepening" collaboration at all levels. He also made a particular plea for attracting young talent to work at ITER. Director-General Pietro Barabaschi was also invited to speak at the Pujiang Innovation Forum, which reunited world thought leaders and actors in innovation around the theme of stimulating interaction between governments, industry, universities and research institutions from 7 to 9 September in Shanghai. The ITER Director-General presented ITER's role within the mega science ecosystem of fusion to illustrate the importance of global cooperation in innovation. A third stop on the China visit was the China International Nuclear Fusion Energy Program Execution Center (ITER China). Since China joined the ITER Project in 2003, the Chinese Domestic Agency has managed Chinese commitments to the project, as well as promote domestic nuclear fusion energy research and development and advance multilateral cooperation. During a working meeting, the parties discussed the closer integration of the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies, current activities to re-baseline the project, and progress and challenges. See the ITER China website here.

Symposium | How to accelerate fusion development?

At the 15th edition of the International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology (Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain), ITER presented its mission as not only relevant for the type of fusion practiced in magnetic confinement fusion reactors such as tokamaks and stellarators. The study of long plasma pulses and high heat fluxes in ITER will help fusion scientists and engineers in every field to understand fusion heat and particle exhaust, while the probing of a burning plasma with an extensive set of diagnostics (more than 50) will provide invaluable data for the conception of a fusion power plant. The 15th International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology (ISFNT-15), organized from 10 to 15 September by the Spanish research organization CIEMAT, gathered fusion industry representatives and research institutes from around the world to address the technical issues that remain to be solved to make fusion power a reality and to exchange ideas to accelerate its development. The symposium focused on both near- and long-term fusion devices and reactor technologies, with special attention to science, engineering, experiments, facilities, modelling, analysis, design, and safety. Tritium breeding technology was a recurrent theme of the talks during the week. The training of a new generation of fusion specialists was also discussed with urgency. The status of ITER was presented by European Domestic Agency Representative Juan Knaster, who described the project as an 'indispensable bridge" to fusion energy. 'ITER is providing the practical experience of designing, fabricating and assembling a licensed fusion nuclear facility, it is developing fusion supply chains and industrial capacity, and it is delivering information and expertise to partner nations,' he said. 'When operational, ITER will enable repeatable experiments and long-term testing.' Presentations were also given on ITER technical topics by other staff from the European Domestic Agency (Fusion for Energy) and staff from the ITER Organization. A shared ITER Organization/Fusion for Energy booth in the exhibition area was the place to go for updated information on ITER construction. The next International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology (ISFNT-16) will take place in the United States.

Image of the Week | Sector #8 on the move

After spending just about one year in vertical tooling, vacuum vessel sector #8 has been returned to a horizontal orientation for removal from the Assembly Hall. In September 2022, the 440-tonne component had been moved into the sector sub-assembly tool that had been left vacant after the installation of sector module #6 in the Tokamak pit. Assembly teams were planning the same suite of activities that had created a "module" out of sector #6—that is, association of the sector with two toroidal field coils and inboard and outboard thermal shield panels. Plans had to be revised when it was reported that major repairs would be required to correct non-conformities in the geometry of the vacuum vessel sectors, and that thermal shields would have to be repaired or replaced to correct occurances (or risk) of stress corrosion cracking. Vacuum vessel sector #8 was removed from the sector sub-assembly tool to an "upending" cradle. And from there it was moved this week to a horizontal platform. The component will be carefully wrapped in order to leave the controlled environment of the Assembly Hall for a period of storage in the Cryostat Workshop. Sector #8 is the third of three sectors to be repaired, so work will not begin immediately. 


Big science get together: ESO @ ITER

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is an intergovernmental organization that designs, constructs and operates powerful ground-based observing facilities for astronomy. It currently operates three unique world class observing sites in the Atacama Desert region of Chile and is building the Extremely Large Telescope, which will be the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world.  Professor Xavier Barcons, the Director General of ESO, was a guest on site at ITER on Friday 15 September. After exchanges with management and an extended tour of the worksite, he delivered a guest lecture to hundreds of members of the ITER community who were present in the amphitheatre or logged on remotely. 'What we can say, to start, is that we both work with plasmas, although many orders of magnitude apart in size,' said ITER Director-General Pietro Barabaschi in his introduction of Professor Barcons. 'And there are other things that we share—we are delivering research infrastructures at the frontier of science and technology, we are unique in our fields, and we face common challenges not only in engineering and technology ... but also in procurement, administration and staffing issues such as diversity. Beyond the pleasure of welcoming Professor Barcons today, we also hope to find areas where we can assist one another.' You can learn more about the European Southern Observatory here.

FuseNet Teachers Day

Registrations are open for the 2023 European Fusion Teacher Day!   The goal of the European Fusion Teacher Day, which will take place on 6 October, is to introduce nuclear fusion to secondary school teachers throughout Europe, discuss teaching nuclear fusion to secondary school students, and create enthusiasm for the field of fusion at the secondary education level.   You can find the agenda and the registration page at the event site here. Registration closes on 2 October.


L'Allemagne investit un milliard d'euros dans la fusion nucléaire

Russian scientists develop better protection for fusion reactor walls

Student-built nuclear fusion reactor to debut in Australia

L'EPFL est à la pointe en matière de fusion nucléaire

4ème édition du "Fusion Teacher Day" le vendredi 5 octobre

In split from Euratom, U.K. will spend nearly $812 million on domestic fusion R&D

MT28: Conferencia internacional de tecnología de imanes

International School of Nuclear Law concludes the 22nd edition

La fusion nucléaire, l'énergie du monde d'après (réservé aux abonnés)

ISFNT15: El acelerador de partículas de Granada se presenta ante los principales laboratorios e industrias de fusión nuclear

Europe and Japan Join Forces for Training New Generations at the JT-60SA International Fusion School

[레디!퓨전] 韓 주도 세계 최대 핵융합실험로 현장 가보니..."퍼스트무버 시행착오 감내"