India’s ambassador to France, H.E. Shri Jawed Ashraf along with the counsellor (atomic energy) in the Indian embassy, France, Shri Kalyan Chakravarthy Madala visited ITER headquarters located in south of France on 25thMarch 2021. Dr Bernard Bigot, director general of ITER France along with ITER protocol officer Ms. Rauhansalo Katja, Dr. Biswanath Sarkar, Division head Mechanical Implementation Division and Mr. Nalinish Nagaich, Head of Domain, Corporate welcomed the visitors. After engaging in discussions related to various aspects of India’s participation in ITER, the team toured the ITER site to observe the on-site construction activities involving installation and commissioning of several ITER components. H.E. Shri Ashraf took special interest in understanding the complexities of the project and the progress made, especially with respect to the four systems contributed by India, which include the cryostat, the cryolines and cryodistribution systems, the cooling water system and the in-wall shields. The deliveries of these four systems have been completed to the tune of more than 90% and equipment’s are in various stages of installation and commissioning at site. India provides nine systems to ITER as in-kind contribution. The ambassador exclaimed the scale of the construction and expressed his confidence with the age old saying “when mankind starts something he achieves the same as well”. Considering the complexities of the project, H.E. Shri Ashraf is of the view that though the ultimate burning plasma experiment is slated to be 10 years after the first plasma operation at ITER, the time line seems to be reasonable. He attributes this confidence to the clear vision and hard work put in by the contributing domestic agencies and the staff at ITER. He also acclaimed the progress made despite the compulsive pandemic COVID conditions and restrictions. H.E. Shri Ashraf also met the Indian staff working at ITER site and encouraged them for their contributions.
Dr. Bigot explaining the construction progress to H.E. Mr. Jawed Ashraf, Dr. Biswanath Sarkar, Shri Kalyan Chakravarthy Madala and Mr. Nalinish Nagaich in the back drop of the cryostat top lid section at ITER site.