Fusion Power Associates
2 Professional Drive, Suite 248
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
phone: (301) 258-0545
fax: (301) 975-9869
e-mail: fpa@compuserve.com
web: http://fusionpower.org

September 29, 1998

FPN98-30 Fusion Program Notes

US ITER Participants Coming Home

The US Department of Energy has issued letters to its "secondees" at ITER sites around the world (in Germany, Japan and San Diego) advising them "to transfer, as best they can, their activities to other people as designated by JCT (Joint Central Team) management," by October 23 and "to report back to their seconding institution or their next assignment no later than November 16, 1998." Exceptions are made for secondees with children in school, who are give until January 4, 1999." DOE intends to spend about $4.2 million for closeout costs associated with the recall and probable evacuation of the ITER JCT building in San Diego.

DOE Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson recently signed an agreement extending US participation in the ITER process for one year from July 22, 1998 (FPN98-28), "to complete research and development of sophisticated technologies that could be used in the experimental reactor should the partners decide to build it in the future." Although DOE has ordered its secondees home, it will complete domestic development of ITER magnet and divertor prototype hardware, estimating that this will cost about $8 million and take until late summer 1999. Congress is appropriating $12.2 million total for ITER closeout in FY1999 (FPN98-29). Under the Richardson agreement, DOE will seek a new international agreement with the European Union, Japan, Russia (and perhaps others) having broad fusion collaboration objectives.

In its letter, signed by Dr. N. Anne Davies on September 28, DOE told the US secondees that, based on the (House-Senate) Conference Report (FPN98-29), that "DOE has determined that it is necessary to implement the following actions: (1) Recall all U.S. secondees to their seconding institutions; and (2) Recall U.S. Visiting Home Team Personnel to their home institutions." DOE said they "will pay all appropriate costs for this activity (bringing the secondees home)."

DOE noted that "While the Administration (Executive Branch) has been supportive of pursuing the three year (ITER) extension and requested funding for our involvement, Congress, for a variety of reasons, has not been supportive of continuing our (ITER) participation."