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Working as an integrated team, the ITER Organization and seven Domestic Agencies are continuing to meet the project's demanding schedule to First Plasma in 2025. Pace and performance were confirmed this week at ITER Headquarters by senior representatives from China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States, who had gathered for the Twenty-Third Meeting of the ITER Council.
The ITER Council convened on 14 and 15 November under the chairmanship of Arun Srivastava from India (front row, centre). On the program this time: project performance and the preparations underway for the machine assembly phase.
Every six months, the governing body of the ITER Organization meets to evaluate project progress on the basis of detailed performance metrics that track manufacturing, construction, and installation activities. The Twenty-Third Meeting of the Council, which took place on 14 and 15 November at ITER Headquarters, was no different. By reviewing the latest reports and indicators on technological and organizational performance, the Council was able to confirm that the project has completed nearly 60 percent of the work scope to First Plasma.
Since January 2016, ITER has achieved 36 scheduled Council-approved milestones, including the completion in August of the concrete crown that will receive the full weight of the machine, and the timely manufacturing and delivery of the first flux loop magnetic sensors for the ITER vacuum vessel.
Project progress is tracked against the 2016 Baseline schedule, which was endorsed by the ITER Council in November 2016 as the fastest technically achievable path to First Plasma, and the Revised Construction Strategy, which has been developed by the ITER Organization to optimize equipment installation in the Tokamak Complex Building.
At the end of the second day, the ITER Director-General proposed a visit on site. One group of delegates can be seen here standing on the floor of the cryostat base, with the rim of the base in the background.
Specifically, the Revised Construction Strategy brings all installation activities in the critical Tokamak Complex area under the coordination of the ITER Organization, including building services falling under the scope of the European Domestic Agency's TB04 contract for mechanical and electrical installation works.
Instead of planning sequential installation activities in the Tokamak Complex—first TB04 building services, and then the installation of machine components and systems by ITER Organization contractors—the transfer of TB04 installation activities to the ITER Organization through the partial novation of the contract allows significant time to be saved by facilitating early access for ITER contractors and allowing the most efficient integrated assembly sequences to be developed to avoid clashes, dismantling and/or rework.
"I confirm to you that critical transitions lie ahead for the ITER Project--as we move from design, engineering and manufacturing to assembly and installation," said the ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot in his opening remarks to the 23rd ITER Council. "All the large components of the Tokamak will be arriving on site within the three next years, 2019-2021, and in parallel we will be carrying out the first steps to commission and prepare for operation. We believe that we have found the best way to adjust our overall organization to face the challenges of this transition."
The first machine component—part of the magnet feeder for poloidal field coil #4—will be installed in the Tokamak Pit late November.