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The last few weeks have seen some significant developments for ITER. The EU Domestic Agency was established by the EU Council, and the Korean National Assembly has ratified the ITER Joint Implementation Agreement, which opens up the establishment of the Korean Domestic Agency. From the ITER point of view the formation of these two new counterparts is a big step forward, and we look forward to working with them as soon as they are operational.
At Cadarache, the work is moving forward. The first part of the construction site has been cleared, and the erection of a new temporary office building on the CEA site means that we can accomodate an additional 75 staff members.
We had the pleasure of welcoming over eighty representatives from the Parties in Marseille last week for the first IIC Preperatory meeting after ITER started operating as a provisional legal entity in December last year. In the meantime, ITER has taken many initiatives concerning essential issues such as staffing, schedule and budget, which were thoroughly discussed at the meeting. At the next meeting, planned for mid-June, the final preparations will be made for the Interim ITER Council, where these ITER policies will be formally endorsed.
During the Marseille meeting agreement was also reached on the terms of reference and initial charges of two important committees which will advise the ITER Council: the Management Advisory Commitee (MAC), and the Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC). The MAC will have its first meeting by the end of May.
The first few months of 2007 have been very productive, and I am sure the rest of the year will continue to be busy for the current staff and the many new colleagues who will be joining us in the coming months.
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