During the last couple of weeks most of us here at the ITER Joint Work Site in Cadarache have been very busy interviewing the 258 candidates from the parties´ shortlist for the 52 open positions. The last interviews will take place in July, and the positions will be assigned from the middle of July. We of course hope that the selected candidates can join us as soon as possible, so that the immense work load put on everybody here will be somewhat relieved.
"Meanwhile, the Design Review process is continuously going on. The 150 members of the eight design review working groups, all leading experts of the fusion community, are currently identifying areas, concepts and technical designs where recent R&D results indicate a possible performance problem or an unacceptable high manufacturing cost. In order to solve the remaining issue cards that are on the table, work packages have been agreed with the parties based on the work plans established by the working groups. The next major step will be to have the first of two meetings in the third week of July where the proposed changes will actually be implemented and the integration begins. Prior or in parallel to this, the Parties and the IO begin the discussion on the impact of these changes on cost, schedule or scope if there are any.
"In preparation of the procurement packages and to actually begin the procurement of long-lead items as soon as possible, the IO and the Parties are also working on the documentation for these packages. All Parties are heavily engaged in the finalization of these packages and support the IO tremendously.
"These days we also see a lot of important meetings such as the Management Advisory Committee, the CP Meeting with all the Contact Persons from the seven Parties and the PT Meeting with the heads of the various project teams. These meetings all focus on preparing the second Interim ITER Council Meeting which will take place on July 11-12 in Tokyo, Japan. A preparatory meeting preparing draft decisions for this July meeting was held here in Cadarache on June 11.
"The Domestic Agencies or their presently existing predecessors are in various stages of readiness: Almost all of them are presently building up infrastructure and staff. In order to coordinate this closely with the IO, over the last 3 month I have been travelling to India, China, Japan and the US to discuss efficient ways of interaction as well as technical aspects which the responsible managers for the work packages brought up. In all cases I found the atmosphere in these meetings very constructive and I have been overwhelmed by the hospitality of my colleagues. "
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