Niek Lopes Cardozo, Tony Donné

To optimize the participation of both Dutch scientists and Dutch industry in ITER, FOM has formed a partnership with the National Technology Organisation (TNO), the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) and the Dutch Industry. This consortium, ITER-NL, covers the entire range of competences needed for ITER, from the scientific design to the industrial implementation, while leaving the competences with the partners for whom it is core-business. FOM brings in its scientific knowledge of tokamak physics, ECRH and diagnostics, NRG consults on nuclear and material aspects, while project control, risk assessment and Quality Assurance (QA), and knowledge transfer are areas of particular strength of the TNO organisation, which has a broad experience with space programmes. By bringing the various research institutes and industry together a real knowledge transfer is realised.

On 19 September 2006 the Dutch government provisionally granted 15 M€ to ITER-NL, and in March 2007 the detailed work plan of the ITER-NL consortium has been approved. The broadening of the fusion activities to parties outside the research laboratories constitutes a breakthrough for fusion in the Netherlands, only possible thanks to the very positive image of ITER. The programme will also be extended to university groups – student participation in fusion classes is hitting record values in the Netherlands. The separate funding and creation of ITER-NL effectively mean a 50% increase of the Dutch fusion programme. In one step, it brings a large number of professionals into the fusion system. With a balance between experienced professionals, younger engineers and PhD students, an effective contribution to the new fusion generation is aimed at.

The spearheads of the project are two advanced scientific instruments, the ECRH upper launcher system and the CXRS diagnostic. Both are being developed within European collaborations, presently coordinated by EFDA. Next to these two scientific instruments, the prime interest of FOM, ITER-NL aims at contributing to a broad spectrum of ITER procurement packages.