Convening for its fifteenth meeting in St Paul-lez-Durance, France, the ITER Council welcomed the completion of Tokamak Complex foundations and the start of construction on the facility’s walls.
Discussions during the two-day meeting focused on the actions underway by the ITER Organization and the seven ITER Members to improve the overall project schedule and enhance project execution. The Council also nominated Bernard Bigot to succeed Osamu Motojima as the Director-General of the ITER Organization.
From 18 to 20 November 2014, the governing body of the ITER Organization and the Heads of Member delegations convened in St Paul-lez-Durance, France. The meetings brought together senior representatives from all seven ITER Members—China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States—under the chairmanship of Robert Iotti (US).
The Council first noted the progress that has been made on the ITER construction site since the last ITER Council meeting, held in June 2014. A key milestone was achieved in August with the finalization of the Tokamak Complex basemat slab and construction has now started on the basement-level walls. The inauguration of a large on-site workshop building for the assembly of the ITER cryostat will take place on 21 November and, elsewhere on the ITER scientific platform, preparations are in full swing for 16 other buildings.
All seven ITER Members reported progress in the manufacturing of key components. The Members also discussed the current status of their activities and reviewed the global effort to address schedule delays, while work on revising the overall project schedule is underway.
The Council also nominated Bernard Bigot to succeed Osamu Motojima as the Director-General of the ITER Organization. Bernard Bigot is currently Chairman of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, CEA (Administrateur général, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives). He is also the High Representative for ITER in France. The five-year appointment will be formalized in due time in accordance with the ITER Agreement, in view of Mr Bigot taking up his duties in 2015.
Osamu Motojima said: "As the current Director-General of the ITER Organization, I fully welcome the ITER Council decision to nominate Bernard Bigot as the next ITER Organization Director-General. Mr Bigot has had a long and distinguished career and a history of close involvement with ITER—he was one of the high-level supporters at the time France applied to host the ITER Project and has been the High Representative for ITER implementation in France. He is an experienced manager of large projects, a leader who is able to find common ground, an excellent communicator, and he is highly respected in the fusion community. I have every confidence that Bernard Bigot will help move the ITER Project forward and I will support him to make the transition period as effective and fruitful as possible for the success of the ITER Project."
Bernard Bigot made the following statement: "I am fully aware of the large responsibility that it will be to lead the ITER Project as it enters a new phase. I am deeply honoured by the trust of the ITER Council and will do my utmost to fulfil the expectations of the Council and of all the people involved in ITER."