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A two-year effort by the ITER Organization and the seven Domestic Agencies came to fruition on 16 June, as the ITER Council officially announced its endorsement of the Resource-Loaded Integrated Schedule for the ITER Project, which identifies the date of First Plasma as December 2025.
On Thursday 16 June, the ITER Council officially announced its endorsement of the Resource-Loaded Integrated Schedule for the ITER Project, which identifies the date of First Plasma as December 2025.
While the ITER Council acknowledges that the endorsed schedule to First Plasma is "challenging but technically achievable," it considers that by meeting all project milestones* to date, on or ahead of schedule, the ITER Organization and Domestic Agencies have already demonstrated their "collective capacity" to deliver on the updated schedule.
The updated Integrated Schedule represents "the best technically achievable path forward to First Plasma."
The Council highlighted the renewed confidence that results from evidence of increased effectiveness of decision-making, improved understanding of risks, and rigour in adhering to commitments.
First Plasma, however, is just the beginning of the road. The Council has asked the ITER Organization to lead the effort to extend the updated schedule through nuclear (deuterium-tritium) operation. Council expects a proposal "with sufficient detail" to enable the adoption of an updated project baseline at its next meeting in November.
"Although all of the Members have certain constraints due to their respective political and administrative processes at home," said Council Chair Won Namkung in his opening remarks, "I have no doubt about the commitment of all of us here today for the success of the project, and in providing utmost support to Domestic Agencies and the Director-General of the ITER Organization."
* During its Seventeenth Meeting in November 2015, the ITER Council approved a number of high-level project milestones for 2016-2017, against which the performance of the project could be monitored.