Chinese Minister reaffirms "full support"
ITER Director-General Pietro Barabaschi and the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Wang Zhigang share a common academic background. They both trained as electrical engineers and when discussing ITER, as they did during the Minister's visit on 25 September, their exchange was precise, concrete and to the point.
The Minister, whose visit comes after the Director-General's recent visit to China, knows ITER well. He is also familiar with the difficulties and obstacles that any large engineering project implementing "disruptive technologies" must face. As the former general manager of the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, the third largest electronics and IT company in China, he encountered many challenges of the type and considers them "quite normal."
Minister Wang Zhigang (centre) with ITER Deputy-Director General for Corporate Luo Delong, a former Ministry colleague (right), and Tai Jiang of the CNPE Consortium, one of the two consortia responsible for tokamak assembly.
"ITER is a project of extraordinary complexity," stressed Barabaschi in his presentation to the Minister. "It has many features of a complex operating system, with a multiplicity of interfaces between different sub-systems and components that must work together seamlessly."
The ITER Director-General had compared driving ITER forward with "sailing a boat in rough seas," where steering requires quick reaction times. In his response, the Minister reaffirmed China's "full support" for the project and said he was convinced that "the boat will reach its destination and achieve its target safely."
ITER Director-General Pietro Barabaschi and the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang both trained as engineers. Their exchange was precise, concrete and to the point.
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