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FPN04-44

US Designates ITER Support Team

July 21, 2004

Although the international partners (European Union, Japan, Russia, China, Republic of Korea and the United States) have still shown no sign that they can agree on a site for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, this has not deterred the US Department of Energy from setting up a project office to manage potential US contributions to the project.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced on July 13 that the project office would be located at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and would be managed by a partnership between PPPL and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Ned Sauthoff (PPPL) has been designated as Project Manager of the "U.S. ITER Project Office." Carl Strawbridge (ORNL) will be Planning Control Manager, reporting to Sauthoff.

According to a proposed organization chart, the US is expecting to contribute to the following aspects of ITER: Design Integration, Magnets, Heating and Fueling, Conventional Systems, Diagnostics, Tritium and Plasma Facing Components. The US has reportedly offered to contribute "in-kind" about 10% of the estimated $5 billion cost of ITER construction.

In announcing the decision, Secretary Abraham said "I am confident that our partners in ITER negotiations will recognize our choice of PPPL/ORNL to manage US participation in ITER for what it is: the clearest possible indication that our Nation takes ITER - and our role in ITER - very seriously". PPPL/ORNL was chosen over competing bids from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.

Copies of press releases and other ITER news are posted at http://fire.pppl.gov