Eisuke Tada's ITER odyssey
The picture is part of ITER history: taken in February 2006 in front of the ITER Joint Work Site office building in Cadarache, France, it features the "Original Six,"—the small team that was to grow over the years to staff the ITER Organization, and that numbers nearly 1,100 today.
Eisuke Tada was one of them, both a pioneer in the territory that had been selected for the construction of the ITER installation and a veteran, having devoted almost two decades to the project and even longer to international cooperation in fusion.
Eisuke Tada was one of the''Original Six'' who in 2006, staffed the ITER Joint Work Site in Cadarache, France. At that time,he had already devoted almost two decades to the project and even longer to international cooperation in fusion.
Akko Maas, who serves as Science Coordination Officer in the Office of the Director-General, was also in that original picture. On 27 April 2023, when the ITER community held a farewell event on the occasion of Eisuke Tada's retirement and return to Japan, he hailed "the gentle soul, who was firm when needed," and a "highly technically sound" colleague who was "truly committed to the ITER machine throughout all his different roles."
ITER Director-General Pietro Barabaschi, whose path often crossed that of Eisuke Tada over the past three decades, also had many stories and remembrances to share. But what stood out beyond anecdotes was gratitude for Eisuke Tada's unflinching dedication and commitment, especially during the "difficult period" when, following the untimely passing of former Director-General Bernard Bigot, he assumed the interim role of Director-General of the ITER Organization.
Speaking upon the backdrop of a photograph of the ''Original Six'', Akko Maas hailed ''the gentle soul, who was firm when needed,'' and a ''highly technically sound'' colleague who was ''truly committed to the ITER machine throughout all his different roles.''
Eisuke Tada's odyssey in the realm of fusion—which began in 1978 when, fresh out of university, he joined the Japanese Atomic Energy Research Institute (now the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency)—did not come to an end on 27 April. For the fusion community as a whole, it will be tempting to tap into the knowledge, experience and intimate understanding that Eisuke Tada has accumulated. In a certain way, one never retires from fusion.
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