Deputy Director General

OF INTEREST: Dhiraj Bora on fusion

Dhiraj Bora, present Director of the Institute for Plasma Research, Gujarat and former ITER Deputy-Director General, explains what a fusion reaction is, what conditions it requires, and what hurdles scientists face in achieving it. Read ​Prof. Dhiraj Bora’s interview here.   Czytaj dalej...

The monster that pulled people out of their homes

The passage of an exceptional convoy is a common sight for the inhabitants of the villages of Berre, Rognac, La Fare-les-Oliviers or Lambesc. The area, close to the harbour in Marseille, is heavily industrialized: steelworks, refineries, the aircraft industry … all depend on the delivery and expedition of large-size loads that travel the roads to the general indifference of the local population. It takes something really exceptional to pull people out of their homes, old and young alike, and bring them to the roadside to ogle and gawk. On Monday night, 16 September, the 352-wheel, 800-ton trailer mimicking an actual ITER convoy did just that. As it commenced its four-night journey between Berre and the ITER site in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, hundreds of people were lined up along the roads, some of them in nightshirts and pyjamas, to watch the long procession of men and vehicles slowly advance along the first stage of the 104-kilometre ITER Itinerary. The event, which aims to monitor the behaviour of roads and bridges under the extreme ITER loads, was the culmination of five years of hard work and complex calculations by the French public roads administration and the technical services of the Bouches-du-Rhône département. As ITER Deputy Director-General Rem Haange explained prior to the departure of the convoy, „The ITER Itinerary is essential to the project. It is the indispensable link between component fabrication in the factories of the ITER Members and the assembly of the machine by the ITER Organization.” It was around 10:00 p.m. when the convoy, organized by logistics service provider DAHER, left its parking area in Berre. Night had fallen one hour earlier and the headlights of the trailer, accompanying vehicles and gendarmerie motorcycles contributed to the eerie atmosphere—the Czytaj dalej...

Three cities, two Procurement Arrangements

During the week of 26 August, ITER Director-General Motojima travelled to Russia, visiting three cities and signing two Procurement Arrangements in four days. Accompanied by Deputy Director-General Alexander Alekseev, head of the Tokamak Directorate, the ITER Director-General began his trip at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Novosibirsk, where he signed the Procurement Arrangement for Equatorial Port 11 Engineering, for the engineering of diagnostic systems into vacuum vessel Port 11. The Budker Institute will be responsible for the scope of work. The Budker Institute already plays a key part in the development of high-tech electron equipment, engineering of diagnostic systems into the vacuum vessel ports, and research into the investigation of high-temperature plasma impact on reactor’s first wall materials as well as developing, manufacturing, and testing equipment for the ITER machine. According to the Head of the Russian ITER Domestic Agency, Anatoly Krasilnikov, equipment development for ITER’s plasma diagnostics engineering will take five to seven years and will require constant interaction with the ITER Project’s other partners. In all, the Budker Institute will develop five engineering systems for ITER’s vacuum vessel ports. The delegation from ITER also visited the Institute of Applied Physics and the enterprise GYCOM in Nizhniy Novgorod, where gyrotron component manufacturing and assembly are conducted as well as the development of infrastructure equipment such as cryomagnetic systems, measurement and technological devices, and part of the energy sources required for the gyrotrons. Procurement of the ITER gyrotrons is a matter of special pride to the Institute of Applied Physics, because it was here that this device was invented. More than half of existing experiment Czytaj dalej...

A traditional Indian blessing for the Cryostat Workshop

In the Indian pantheon, Ganesha is the one who can remove the hurdles from the path of our human endeavours. In India, anything of importance—a wedding, journey or construction project—begins with an invocation to the elephant-headed deity. Since a small portion of the ITER platform has been made available to the Indian Domestic Agency for the construction of the Cryostat Workshop, it was natural to place this football-field-sized piece of India under the protection of the „Remover of Obstacles.” Throwing a bridge between the high-technology world of ITER and the Indian tradition of times immemorial, Bharat Doshi, Cryostat Section leader, first explained to his guests during a ceremony held on 6 June how the giant ITER cryostat will be assembled from 54 segments manufactured in India. He then proceeded to „break the coconut” and share the coconut meat among the guests—a ritual that is also meant to appease Mother Earth, whose tranquillity will soon be disturbed by the construction works. Once every guest had broken a coconut, a large excavator symbolically scratched the earth where the 26-metre-high, 110-metre-long Cryostat Workshop will soon be erected. The same Indian company (Larsen & Toubro Ltd) that will manufacture the cryostat will also build the Workshop and manage the assembly and welding activities all the way through to the final integration of the cryostat into the machine. „We have already launched the procurement process for the raw material,” explained Philippe Tollini, Larsen & Toubro’s director for Europe and Russia. „We are presently in the manufacturing design stage, which will be completed by September. We should begin to receive the first cryostat segments from India at the end of 2014, beginnin Czytaj dalej...

Back in India, but keeping a foot in ITER

After five years as Deputy Director-General (DDG) and Director of the CODAC, Heating & Diagnostics Directorate at ITER, Dhiraj Bora returned to the Institute for Plasma Research in Gandhinagar, India in December 2012. In February, he was appointed Director General of the Institute. Newsline recently asked him to say a few words about his return to India, and his vision of the ITER project.   How does it feel being back in India after five years in France? Has there been a period of re-adaption? I feel good to be back at the Institute for Plasma Research (IPR) in India after six years at the ITER Organization. Working style here is not exactly the same however; therefore, I needed a bit of time to readapt. I am also trying to implement some of the good practices from ITER. Is there anything you miss about France? Oh yes, my family and I miss a lot of things. As ITER is in its Construction Phase, life at work was different and hectic and I enjoyed that. Aix-en-Provence is such a nice place to live and interact with people that we will always miss that life. Looking back upon your time at ITER, what were the most important moments for you—those you will remember, good or bad … Learning to manage an international group of experts in the ITER Directorate for CODAC, Heating & Diagnostics was a very important experience for me. The good and the bad all came together for me at my farewell party last December: I was leaving colleagues with whom I shared all my time for six years, but I was happy to receive so many words and gestures of good will and appreciation for what I had accomplished in the CHD Directorate.  Does now being on the „outside” change your perception of ITER? Do you feel that the outside world has a clear idea of the ITER project—its scope Czytaj dalej...

First hardware afloat from China

On Thursday 25 April, the morning silence at the Institute of Plasma Physics (ASIPP) in Hefei, China, was broken by the noise of a high powered trailer. Inside the superconductor shop of ASIPP, workers were busy preparing to load the 737 metres of dummy conductor for ITER’s Poloidal Field Coil number five (PF5)—this represents the first delivery from China to the ITER construction site in France.  According to the Procurement Arrangement signed between the Chinese Domestic Agency and the ITER Organization, China will fabricate 64 conductors for ITER’s poloidal field coils, including four dummy conductors for cabling and coil manufacturing process qualification. ASIPP is responsible for all the poloidal field conductor fabrication in China. The fabrication of the PF5 dummy was completed in by ASIPP in 2011.  „This is the very first batch of ITER items to be shipped from China to the ITER site in Cadarache," said Luo Delong, Deputy Director-General of ITER China. Before, conductors for the toroidal field coils had been shipped to Japan and Europe. "This milestone is a further step for the ITER project. According to our schedule, we will now start massive production of conductors this year. Our goal is that all procurement items from China be supplied consistent with the ITER schedule and with ITER quality requirements.” According to the shipment schedule the PF5 dummy conductors, which left Shanghai on 30 April, will arrive at the ITER site on 5 June. Czytaj dalej...

Hot, hotter, hottest

Temperature, from a physicist’s perspective, is not only a measure of hot or cold. It is also a measure of the energy carried by atoms and molecules: temperature tells us how rapidly these atoms or molecules move within a solid, a liquid or a gas. Temperature is different from heat. To feel heat on your fingers, you need density: the higher the density, the more heat is transferred to your skin—this explains why a neon tube containing a very hot (~10,000°C) but very tenuous plasma can be touched without harm. In temperature, there is a theoretical absolute cold („absolute zero”) but no absolute hot: a particle can always move more rapidly but it cannot be more immobile than … immobile. When we talk about a 150- to 300-million-degree plasma in ITER, we’re describing an environment where particles (the deuterium and tritium ions and the freed electrons) move around at tremendous speed: so fast and with such a high energy that when they collide head on the miracle of fusion happens. The electromagnetic barrier that stands between nuclei is overcome and the nuclei can fuse. How will the ITER plasma be brought to such extreme temperatures—ten times higher, or more, than the core of the Sun? Plasma heating in ITER will begin with an electrical breakdown, quite similar to what happens when we turn on the switch of a neon light. In the very tenuous gas mixture that fills the vacuum vessel (one million times denser than the air we breathe) the electrical discharge strips the electrons from the atoms and the gas becomes a plasma—a particle soup of electrically charged electrons and ions. „The electrons from the current collide with and communicate their energy to the ions from which they have been stripped,” explains Paul Thomas, ITER Deputy Director-General for CO Czytaj dalej...

The "Unique ITER Team"

A "Unique Team" for a unique project. From left to right: Director of the Department for ITER Project Rem Haange; Head of Korean Domestic Agency Kijung Jung; Head of the F4E ITER Departement and ancting DA Head Jean-Marc Filhol; ITER Organization Director-General Osamu Motojima; Director of US ITER Project Office Ned Sauthoff; Unit Manager, Division of ITER Projet at JAEA Eisuke Tada; Deputy Director-General of ITER China Luo Delong; Head of Russian Domestic Agency Anatoly Krasnilikov and Ujjwal Baruah, Project Manager ITER India representing Head of ITER India Shishir P. Deshpande. Czytaj dalej...

Looking into the heart of the matter

The Helmholtz Association (34,000 employees, 18 research centres) is Germany’s largest scientific organization with strategic programs in six core fields, among them the development of fusion energy. The Helmholtz Association’s nuclear fusion program is currently pursuing two priority goals: to carry out Germany’s contributions to building and operating ITER, and to finalize and operate the Wendelstein 7-X Stellarator in Greifswald. This week, the president of the Helmholtz Association, Juergen Mlynek, assembled the heads of the German fusion research institutes and paid a visit to ITER to get first-hand information about the project’s status. The group was welcomed by ITER Deputy Director-General Rem Haange who summarized the most recent progress before the bus took the group to the very heart of the matter, the Tokamak Pit.   Czytaj dalej...