Iter Council

Registration now open for MIIFED 2013 in Monaco

Whether you are an engineer full of ideas, an industry player looking for global business opportunities, or a fusion researcher wanting to keep up-to-date on the latest ITER achievements and developments, the 2013 Monaco ITER International Fusion Energy Days (MIIFED) offer an excellent opportunity for exchanging views and experiences, while forming valuable international business relationships. MIIFED will be held on 2-4 December 2013 in the Principality of Monaco, under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II.This international conference will present the latest progress of the ITER project and also the major scientific and technological developments in the field of fusion and energy worldwide. The aim is to encourage synergies between energy-related research and technology developments. Together with the exhibition, the different conference sessions will facilitate learning, networking and partnering with other research actors. The following high level speakers have already accepted to contribute to MIIFED 2013: His Serene Highness Prince Albert IIYukiya Amano, Director-General, IAEABernard Bigot, Chairman, CEAJean-Jacques Dordain, Director-General, European Space AgencyCharles Elachi, Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, USAMasako Inoue, Director, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, JapanMadhukar Kotwal, Member of the Board, Larson & Toubro, IndiaSir Chris Llewellyn Smith, former Director-General, CERNUmberto Minopoli, President, Ansaldo Nucleare, ItalyOsamu Motojima, Director-General, ITER OrganizationJohn Parmentola, Senior Vice-President, General Atomics, USAHideyuki Takatsu, Chair of the ITER CouncilMaria Van der Hoeven, Executive Director, International Energy Agency Click here to register online. Czytaj dalej...

A visit to Mitsubishi’s Futami plant

Of the 19 toroidal field coils that will be produced for ITER (18 for Tokamak assembly, plus one spare), 9 will be procured by Japan. The Japanese Domestic Agency has contracted with four major Japanese and Korean companies—Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, Japan (main contractor, coil case manufacturer #1); Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan (winding pack manufacturer #1); Toshiba, Japan (winding pack manufacturer #2); and finally Hyundai Heavy Industry, Korea (coil case manufacturer #2 ). Two weeks ago, participants to the Unique ITER Team (UIT) activities that followed the Twelfth ITER Council in Japan (19-20 June) had the opportunity to visit Mitsubishi Heavy Industry’s Futami facility near Kobe, where the first toroidal field coil will be wound and integrated. Installation of the winding equipment at the Futami facility should be completed in September, allowing for dummy winding to proceed until the end of the year. Double pancake dummy winding should begin in early 2014. The visit of the winding workshop and a discussion on the schedule presented by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry left the ITER guests with „a strong feeling of confidence,” says Head of IO-DA Coordination Songtao Wu. Czytaj dalej...

The fellowship of the Plasma Ring

Thirty years ago, on 25 June 1983, the Joint European Torus (JET) came to life with a flash of plasma. „There was an air of hushed expectancy as the countdown for the first plasma attempt progressed,” remembers Phil Morgan, then an optical spectroscopy specialist who had joined the project the year before. „A suppressed gasp was heard as on one of the TV screens the machine appeared to tilt when the magnetic field was switched on—then loud laughter as people realized that the field was distorting the image recorded by the TV camera.” This anecdote and many others were shared on 24-25 June as JET and ITER personnel, connected by video link, assembled to commemorate the event that, 30 years ago, opened a new era in the history of fusion. In the ITER Council Room, where some 25 former members of JET’s staff had gathered around the head of ITER’s CODAC, Heating & Diagnostics Directorate, Paul Thomas, and at Culham, where participants were hosted under a tent, participants remembered with equal emotion the intensity of the peak plasma current that was achieved on that day and the taste of the minestrone soup prepared by the wife of Franco Bombi, then head of JET’s Control and Data Acquisition System. To Paul, and many others who now are part of the ITER team, JET provided „invaluable experience.” Thirty years after its first plasma and two decades after its first burst of fusion power on 9 November 1991, „JET is the key device to resolve many of the challenges that we are facing,” (Mike Walsh, head of Diagnostics); „Its input is critical for our commissioning plan,” (Ken Blackler, head of Assembly & Operations); „It continues to deliver important results that provide direct input, even today, in our design decisions, Czytaj dalej...

Council welcomes progress in construction and manufacturing

The ITER Council met for the twelfth time in its history on June 19-20 in Tokyo, Japan. The meeting brought together senior representatives from the seven ITER Members—China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States—under the chairmanship of Hideyuki Takatsu (Japan). The Council took note of the increasing pace of construction activities on the ITER site and progress in the manufacturing of components and supporting systems, highlighting the fact that major contracts have been placed recently and many leading industries are now involved in ITER construction. During the 12th ITER Council, significant progress was reported in the manufacturing of ITER magnets: over 420 tons of niobium-tin strand (Nb3Sn) for the toroidal field conductors (90 percent of project needs) and 133 tons of niobium-titanium (NbTi) strand for the poloidal field conductors (51 percent of project needs) have been produced to date. The Council reaffirmed the importance of sustained efforts regarding schedule implementation, while recognizing the challenges due to the first-of-a-kind nature of ITER. In this context, the governing body of ITER welcomed improved collaboration between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies as part of the Unique ITER team. Click here to view the photo gallery of the Twelfth ITER Council. Read the Press Releases in English and in French. Czytaj dalej...

"Cooperation will make this project successful"

Following closely on the heels of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, STAC, which convened at ITER Headquarters from 14-16 May, the ITER Council’s management advisory body, the Management Advisory Committee, MAC, met from 21 to 23 May to examine strategic management issues such as schedule, cost and the implementation of plans for installation and assembly, testing and commissioning. Close to fifty experts from the seven ITER Members were present in the Council Chamber of the Headquarters Building to address the charges from the last ITER Council (IC-11, November 2012) as well as the additional charges that resulted from the special meeting of the MAC in March. As at the last meeting, the schedule remained the focus of discussion. MAC recognized the efforts of the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies that have resulted in improvement, particularly on the critical systems and components, and made further suggestions. In the all-hands meeting that followed the closing session of the MAC, the ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima told the hundreds of staff members assembled, „At the conclusion of three days of discussion, I can tell you that the MAC was a productive one for us. We can draw up an action plan today, based on the recommendations from the MAC experts. As a Unique ITER Team we have made intense efforts to improve schedule performance and to implement the related corrective measures. We can and will keep this positive schedule trend.” In break-out sessions over the course of the three days, MAC Chair Ranjay Sharan, from India, had time to comment: „Issue-based solutions are being found, one after another. The most important thing is that collaboration has increased and the Unique ITER Team (UIT) is working. We may be only in the initial stages … the UIT h Czytaj dalej...

STAC Chair reflects on latest meeting

The 14th meeting of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) took place recently at the ITER Headquarters, from 14-16 May. We had the honour to be the first committee that met in the impressive Council Room after it was inaugurated by the ITER Council last November. The STAC advises the ITER Council on two areas: the monitoring of ongoing project activity and the assessment of new proposals which imply a change in the ITER Baseline. The work at every meeting is based on the „STAC charges” adopted by the ITER Council. We assess the input from the ITER Organization that replies to recommendations made by the STAC and answers questions implied in the STAC charges. The preparation of each STAC meeting involves an important work load on key ITER Organization staff and, as Chair of the STAC, I am aware that we must be careful with the amount of work that our requirements put on ITER Organization resources. I must also recognize the high overall quality of the reports and presentations delivered to our committee. One of the first agenda points since I have participated in the STAC is the review of the project schedule from a technical point of view. Essentially, we analyze the technical causes of delays, including aspects which are midway between the technical and the managerial world such as configuration control, quality control, process control, etc. As is happened in previous meetings, STAC 14 continued to express its concern about delays in the project. A number of systems are „critical or supercritical,” which means that they drive the First Plasma schedule, amongst them buildings, vacuum vessel, the poloidal field coils … and even the toroidal field coils could come into this category if delays are not stemmed. In addition, the „microschedule” reflected Czytaj dalej...

Periodic review for Test Blanket Module Program

The ninth meeting of the ITER Council Test Blanket Module (TBM) Program Committee took place on 25-26 April. The TBM Program Committee meets twice a year to review the implementation of TBM program—including the Members’ Test Blanket Systems and the ITER Organization’s TBM integration activities—and to report to the ITER Council. The Program Committee reviews the status of the TBM-related activities within the ITER Organization, TBM design and R&D progress within the ITER Members, and the status of corresponding milestones. The main objectives of this ninth meeting were to define the short-term steps that need to be performed in order to keep to the present Baseline schedule for the TBM Program as well as possible corrective actions which should be pursued in case of delays. Participants noted that the TBM Program schedule is closely linked to that of several ITER components (e.g., nuclear buildings); therefore, the coherence of the schedules needs to be continuously monitored. Among the key milestones for the TBM Program are the signing of the six specific TBM Arrangements (TBMAs) that correspond to the formal implementation of each Test Blanket System in ITER. Following the endorsement of the generic TBM Arrangement by the ITER Council at its last meeting in June 2012, each ITER Member with responsibility for a TBM System (denoted a „TBM Leader”) has started the preparation of the draft of the corresponding specific TBMA and evaluated a realistic date for its signature by the Director-General and the designated ITER Member representative. These dates, ranging from January to December 2014, were reviewed and noted by the Committee. The first component delivery associated with the TBM Program is expected as early as 2016: the Test Blanket System connection pipes will con Czytaj dalej...

Rich Hawryluk reflects on his years at ITER

What is it like to be at the centre of ITER, the huge international fusion experiment that is under construction in France? „It’s both exciting and challenging,” said physicist Rich Hawryluk, who recently returned to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in the US after a two-year stint as deputy director-general for the Administration Department of ITER. „It’s exciting in the scope and scale of this effort, and challenging in bringing such a large project to completion.” Hawryluk had many diverse responsibilities at ITER. He oversaw functions ranging from human resources to finance and budgeting to procurement and information technology. „A project this large is almost a continuous cycle of oversight and reviews,” said Hawryluk. „You’re essentially going from one major review to another every few months, and this kept us extremely busy.” Hawryluk arrived at ITER in April 2011, a year after construction of the ITER complex began on a 180-hectare site in 2010. Contracts now are being prepared and awarded to assemble the six-storey-tall fusion facility, or Tokamak Building, that will be at the heart of the complex. Hawryluk is no stranger to exhaustive oversight duties. He served as head of PPPL’s Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor experiment from 1991 to 1997 and as deputy director of PPPL from 1997 to 2008. He also was a member of the US delegation to the ITER Management Advisory Committee, which reports to the ITER Council. „But there’s a big difference between being an outsider on the advisory committee and dealing with day-to-day issues,” he said. „Getting immersed in and resolving the many issues that we had talked about was a major change.” Read more on the PPPL website. Czytaj dalej...

Discussing experiments and aligning priorities

The 10th Integrated Operation Scenarios (IOS) International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) meeting was held in the ITER Council Chamber from 15-18 April 2013. There were 30 external participants from the ITER Members and a number of representatives from the ITER Organization. The external participants include representatives from the main magnetic fusion devices and modellers from the ITER Members. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the experiments and modelling being carried out around the world in support of the ITER design and plasma operation as well as to align the priorities for future R&D with the latest ITER priorities. The IOS Topical Group (TG) is one of seven topical groups in the ITPA whose main role is to integrate plasma operation scenarios for burning plasma experiments, particularly for ITER, including inductive, hybrid, and steady-state scenarios. The IOS-TG also recommends physics guidelines and methodologies for the operation and design of burning plasma experiments. The ITPA topical groups all meet every six months in one of the countries of the ITER Members. This was the first time the IOS-TG met at ITER, allowing the members and experts of the IOS-TG to see first-hand the progress in ITER construction.  Experimental and modelling results were presented from Alcator C-Mod, ASDEX-Upgrade, DIII-D, JET, JT-60U, and KSTAR of ITER-relevant plasma operational scenarios. Experimental results concentrated on inductive and hybrid scenarios; modelling of steady-state scenarios was also presented. Modelling of burning plasma and energetic particle physics were presented as well as plasma rotation in ITER and their impact on operational scenarios. The predicted plasma rotation profiles in hybrid scenarios were strongly peaked with rotation up to nearly 200 km/s, corresponding to about 4 Czytaj dalej...

Commr. Busquin was key in Europe’s bid for ITER

ITER owes a lot to a few individuals who, at decisive moments in the project’s history, made decisions that changed the course of events. Philippe Busquin is one of them. In 2001, as European Commissioner for Energy (1999-2004), he played a key role in pressing the Commission to commit itself to actually realizing ITER. „I took the responsibility to launch ITER,” he recalls. „At the time, the European effort to develop fusion was quite diluted amongst several associations. ITER was still a paper project and I felt it was high time to get on to the experimental phase.” 2001 was a defining year for ITER. A new design for the Fusion Energy Advanced Reactor („ITER-FEAT”) had been approved by the ITER Council; Canada had proposed to host the installation; local governments in Provence were mobilizing to promote the Cadarache site… For Busquin, the time was ripe to take action. „As a nuclear physicist, I could measure what was at stake with fusion; as a politician, I knew Europe had to be daring. And I was optimistic…” Two years later, in 2003, Europe had two sites to offer to ITER—one in Vandellòs, Spain; one in Cadarache, France. Busquin considered at the time that this „double offer” was proof of Europe’s determination to host the project. As he stood above the Tokamak Seismic Pit, one decade later, the former European Commissioner felt profound satisfaction and a sense of pride. „I was standing close to where we are now, with French Research Minister Claudie Haigneré and all the people who worked so hard to make ITER happen here—of course the landscape was quite different but I can still recognize the place.” Philippe Busquin, now retired from public affairs (but still active in promoting collaborat Czytaj dalej...

DivSOL wagon rolls EAST

With the EAST tokamak in the middle of an extended maintenance period—during which the ASIPP team in Hefei, China will take the audacious step of installing an ITER-like, full tungsten divertor in the upper part of the vacuum vessel by the end of this year—what better place to hold the latest in the series of regular meetings of the International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) Topical Group on Divertor and Scrape-Off Layer physics. Known in ITPA circles as the DivSOL TG, this group focuses on issues of importance to ITER in the area of heat and particle exhaust from the tokamak plasma and the unavoidable plasma-surface interactions which occur at the plasma-materials boundary.  Plasma and materials physicists work together within DivSOL to address a host of questions, from movement of material by the plasma and tritium trapping in surfaces, to turbulent transport of heat in the plasma boundary and plasma-facing component lifetime under intense heat fluxes. In common with all ITPA groups, DivSOL is reactive to urgent ITER physics R&D issues and works to find answers to specific requests. One such example is the flurry of activity stimulated by the ITER Organization proposal in autumn 2011 to eliminate one of the two divertors planned for the first years of ITER operation, up to achievement of burning plasmas. The idea is to go the whole way with a single unit in which tungsten (chemical symbol W) would be the only material intercepting the majority of the tokamak heat exhaust. A single divertor would be a major cost saving to the project, but it is a calculated risk: W is a harder material to work with from the plasma point of view than the carbon fibre composite in originally planned first divertor. Finding out just how much of a risk, and making sure that a workable design with qualified technology Czytaj dalej...

ITPA DivSOL wagon rolls EAST

With the EAST tokamak in the middle of an extended maintenance period—during which the ASIPP team in Hefei, China will take the audacious step of installing an ITER-like, full tungsten divertor in the upper part of the vacuum vessel by the end of this year—what better place to hold the latest in the series of regular meetings of the International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) Topical Group on Divertor and Scrape-Off Layer physics. Known in ITPA circles as the DivSOL TG, this group focuses on issues of importance to ITER in the area of heat and particle exhaust from the tokamak plasma and the unavoidable plasma-surface interactions which occur at the plasma-materials boundary.  Plasma and materials physicists work together within DivSOL to address a host of questions, from movement of material by the plasma and tritium trapping in surfaces, to turbulent transport of heat in the plasma boundary and plasma-facing component lifetime under intense heat fluxes. In common with all ITPA groups, DivSOL is reactive to urgent ITER physics R&D issues and works to find answers to specific requests. One such example is the flurry of activity stimulated by the ITER Organization proposal in autumn 2011 to eliminate one of the two divertors planned for the first years of ITER operation, up to achievement of burning plasmas. The idea is to go the whole way with a single unit in which tungsten (chemical symbol W) would be the only material intercepting the majority of the tokamak heat exhaust. A single divertor would be a major cost saving to the project, but it is a calculated risk: W is a harder material to work with from the plasma point of view than the carbon fibre composite in originally planned first divertor. Finding out just how much of a risk, and making sure that a workable design with qualified technology Czytaj dalej...

Management Advisory Committee meets in Barcelona

For the second time in its history, the ITER Council Management Advisory Committee (MAC) convened for an extraordinary session in order to assess the status of the ITER project schedule and the implementation of corrective actions. The meeting took place from 18-19 March at the headquarters of the European Domestic Agency in Barcelona in the attendance of high-level representatives of the ITER Organization and seven ITER Members. Since the last special MAC meeting held in August 2012, the ITER Organization has worked closely with Domestic Agencies to complete the integration of Detailed Work Schedules (DWS)—detailed schedules that exist for every component or system. The IO and DAs completed the integration of the remaining DWS, namely Main Vacuum Vessel, IC Antenna, PF Coils and TF Structure, which will allow for monitoring of the schedule. MAC requested that the Unique ITER Team continue to make significant efforts to take action focusing on super-critical milestones and to take all possible measures to keep to the Baseline schedule. The ITER Organization and Domestic Agencies are committed to doing their best to implement this request. Czytaj dalej...

A 3,500 m² extension for Headquarters

Staff and contractors hadn’t yet taken possession of their offices in the brand-new ITER Headquarters building last autumn and already planning was underway for the second round of works. Between spring 2013 and spring 2014, if all goes according to schedule, the Headquarters building will be extended to the west by 35 metres, providing space for an additional 350 employees. The original architectural design of the building called for office space for 460, with two options for extension (for an additional 250 desk spaces per option). As early as June 2008, the ITER Organization reported to the Second ITER Council that at least one of the two options would be required: projections for the Construction and Operation Phases of ITER placed manpower requirements at between 1,000 and 1,100 desk spaces. „Despite the rationalization of the building’s internal layout, which increased its capacity to 500, and another 300 existing desks in the former Headquarters building, the insufficiency of available space for the long-term needs of the project was evident,” explains head of Building & Site Infrastructure Tim Watson. As construction began on the 20,500 square-metre Headquarters, BSI conducted a study of the potential options for additional desk space. One consideration prevailed: in the interest of efficiency, any new office space should be as close as possible to the Headquarters building. Could pre-fabricated buildings be a solution? Or would a permanent extension be more cost efficient in the long run?  „It turned out that all indicators pointed to a permanent extension as the most rational and cost-efficient solution,” says Tim. „Pre-fabricated buildings have higher operational and maintenance costs, and in the longer term they have to be replaced. By adding Czytaj dalej...

ITER is well underway

The Eleventh ITER Council convened last week at the ITER site for a two-day meeting that brought together the high-level representatives of the seven ITER Members. As approximately 100 people took their places in the solemn setting of the new Council Room, Director-General Osamu Motojima welcomed the participants, adding, „I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Members, in particular Europe, the Host Party, and Agence ITER France for providing the project with the ITER Organization Headquarters building where staff is nearly fully installed.”  The Council noted the strong measures that have been taken by the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies to realize strategic schedule milestones and to develop new corrective measures for critical systems such as buildings, the vacuum vessel, the cryostat, and the superconducting magnets. Delegates urged further corrective actions to improve schedule execution and to seek additional savings. Delegates welcomed the integrated project management approach proposed by the ITER Organization to enhance collaboration between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies, an approach, according to Director-General Motojima, to „cooperate even more closely for the implementation of ITER.” The ITER Council also celebrated the recent major licensing milestone for ITER, the strong pace of construction activities at the ITER site, and the manufacturing activities well underway in all ITER Members. The next ITER Council meeting is scheduled to take place in Japan in June 2013. Click here to view the photo gallery of the Eleventh ITER Council   Read the Press Releases in English and in French. Czytaj dalej...

"ITER is well underway"

The Eleventh ITER Council convened last week at the ITER site for a two-day meeting that brought together the high-level representatives of the seven ITER Members. As approximately 100 people took their places in the solemn setting of the new Council Room, Director-General Osamu Motojima welcomed the participants, adding, „I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Members, in particular Europe, the Host Party, and Agence ITER France for providing the project with the ITER Organization Headquarters building where staff is nearly fully installed.”  The Council noted the strong measures that have been taken by the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies to realize strategic schedule milestones and to develop new corrective measures for critical systems such as buildings, the vacuum vessel, the cryostat, and the superconducting magnets. Delegates urged further corrective actions to improve schedule execution and to seek additional savings. Delegates welcomed the integrated project management approach proposed by the ITER Organization to enhance collaboration between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies, an approach, according to Director-General Motojima, to „cooperate even more closely for the implementation of ITER.” The ITER Council also celebrated the recent major licensing milestone for ITER, the strong pace of construction activities at the ITER site, and the manufacturing activities well underway in all ITER Members. The next ITER Council meeting is scheduled to take place in Japan in June 2013. Click here to view the photo gallery of the Eleventh ITER Council   Read the Press Releases in English and in French. Czytaj dalej...

The ITER circles of support

In terms of the number of individuals devoting their time and energy to the realization of ITER, there are of course the employees and contractors of the ITER Organization, currently estimated at 900 people. But this nucleus is surrounded by concentric circles of support without which the project couldn’t succeed: the ITER Members; the ITER Council and its advisory bodies; the Domestic Agency teams and their manufacturing partners; and finally fusion associations all over the world. A representative of this last category visited ITER last week as a guest lecturer for the Inside ITER seminar series. Dr. Rudolf Neu from the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) is known as „Mr. Tungsten” in the fusion world. Closely involved with the ASDEX wall upgrade and the JET ITER-like wall, Mr. Neu is currently in charge of EFDA’s ITER Physics Department where he coordinates the research program in preparation for ITER’s experimentation phase. „EFDA activities are strongly aligned with ITER needs,” said Dr. Neu. „Our fusion associations pool resources and share results … results which are then extrapolated for ITER.” Thirty fusion associations are part of the EFDA family, with responsibility for 14 fusion experiments that are currently operating or under construction.  Among the exciting projects going on in Europe is JET’s ITER-like wall experiment: „This is an experiment that uses the ITER material mix for the first time in a tokamak. We have already had manifold unexpected results from this experiment that we hope will give us new physics insights. This is truly an important experiment for ITER.” Dr. Neu also updated the audience on the Fusion Roadmap which draws out the step-by-step aims of Europe’s fusion p Czytaj dalej...

Left column, right column and beyond

Whether you’re doing your home finances or running the Finance and Budget Division of an international organization such as ITER, you basically act on the same principles: what comes in goes into the column on the left; what goes out goes into the column on the right, and the total must be balanced. Now of course, there are differences. Finances at ITER are a rather complex affair; the Organization is accountable to authorities such as the ITER Council. Its finances are audited twice a year by the Financial Audit Board and are published through its annual Financial Statements. Like most, if not all, public organizations or private companies, the ITER Organization manages its finances within strict rules. One set of rules is internal and is called the "Project Resource Management Regulations (PRMR)"; the other is a set of international standards, specific to public entities — the "International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)". Upon its inception, the ITER Organization voluntarily adhered to the 32 standards of IPSAS. However, some very specific aspects of the project’s organization, such as the nature of its contributions and assets or their valuations over time, were not fully anticipated by the experts who drafted the IPSAS. In order to become more familiar with the IPSAS updates and their application to the ITER Organization’s specific accounting issues, the Accounting, Treasury and Systems Section of the ITER Finance and Budget Division organized a training session early this week (10-11 September). Professor Frans Van Schaik, a partner at the auditing firm Deloitte Netherlands, and a former Member of the IPSAS Board (2006-2011), and Juliette Nahon, a Public Sector manager at Deloitte France, came to Cadarache to further develop the internal IPSAS knowl Czytaj dalej...