Burning the candle at both ends

A significant Procurement Arrangement was concluded recently between the ITER Organization and the Japanese Domestic Agency for four key diagnostic systems for ITER.

The Divertor Impurity Monitor is a window to the operation of the divertor, monitoring impurity flows and allowing the optimization of operation. Divertor Thermography gives a detailed view of the heat load profile of the divertor targets—a key diagnostic for the protection of divertor components. Edge Thomson Scattering is used to measure the temperature and density profile of the edge of the ITER plasma, providing useful information in the study of the confinement properties of the plasma edge and for the optimization of fusion performance.

And finally, the Poloidal Polarimeter will measure the plasma current density across the plasma cross-section (the current profile). The details of this profile affect stability and heat transport in the core and must be carefully measured and adjusted to achieve ITER’s long pulses.

The signature represents a key milestone for both the Japanese Domestic Agency and the ITER Organization, and an important milestone for the project schedule. The long-distance coordination of the Procurement Arrangement signature went smoothly—the document was first signed by ITER Director-General Motojima, before being transported half way around the world by courier to be signed by T. Oikawa, the Director of International Affairs, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).

There were several late nights and early mornings for the teams in both France and Japan. „It’s true that the candle had to be burned at both ends in order to achieve the tight schedule,” commented Diagnostic Division Head Mike Walsh, „but it was worth all the effort in the end.”

Kiyoshi  Itami, the Plasma Diagnostics Group Leader in Naka, added, „I am very pleased to get this critical phase in the project completed and I thank everyone involved for the good collaborative approach to get to this stage.”

Now the Japanese Domestic Agency is busy with the next stages in cooperation with the ITER Organization and in further involvement with industry.