Preparing for the next ITER Council
Remarkable progress has been made regarding the construction of ITER: as everybody can see, the site preparations are in full swing and we will soon be able to move into our offices on site.
It was in last November, at the first ITER Council, that the ITER Project Specification based on a comprehensive design review was provisionally approved. Since then a tremendous amount of work has been coordinated and executed in order to provide a mature design for ITER that reflects the issues raised by the Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) and, secondly, to prepare a reliable schedule and resource estimate. To meet these essential commitments a truly joint effort from all the ITER staff, both in the IO and the Domestic Agencies was required.
The result of this joint effort was the broad support from the STAC last week to go ahead with the proposed solutions for the major design issues (see article in this issue). We therefore hope that these suggestions will find approval at the next ITER Council meeting in June. In preparation for the ITER Council we are also finalizing the integrated project schedule and the resource estimate.
In parallel with these activities, the IO Accounts for 2007 will soon be audited by the newly appointed Financial Auditing Board. IO was also requested by the Council to provide a quarterly financial report starting this year. This is yet another challenge for our administration to prove accountability and efficiency.
It is important that our progress is well understood and supported by all seven ITER Members. This was why I recently visited Japan, India and China to explain what we are doing to the DAs and to listen to their comments. It was encouraging that my visit was well received and to get confirmation of their firm commitment to ITER.
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