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  • In the vast hall of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, a 10-ton divertor cassette mockup has just been successfully inserted into a replica of the ITER vacuum vessel ... just as delicately as a model ship gets inserted inside a bottle.

    Like inserting a ship into a bottle

    In Tampere, Finland—a small town two hours north of Helsinki—an important demonstration took place for ITER this past winter. They came from Barcelona, where t [...]

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  • In front of the tokamak mockup in the Visitors Building — probably the most complex machine ever designed.¶

    800 visitors on the fusion launch pad

    Some 17,000 people visit the ITER site every year but only a few are given the opportunity to enter the Tokamak Pit and stand on the floor of the Tokamak Compl [...]

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  • Noriaki Nakayama, the Japanese Minister of Science and Technology, and Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for Science. Nearly two years of negotiations were necessary to decide which of the sites proposed by Europe or Japan would host the ITER Project.

    28 June 2005: a home at last

    Ten years ago, on 28 June 2005, a home was found for ITER. In Moscow, where ministerial-level representatives of the ITER Members had convened, a consensus had [...]

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  • The visible Universe is nearly entirely made up of plasma. Because very hot plasmas create the conditions where atoms can fuse, for more than 50 years physicists have worked to understand this "fourth state of matter" in order to control — and exploit — its potential.

    Plasma: a strange state of matter

    The least well-known state of matter is, paradoxically, also the most prevalent: 99.99% of the visible Universe, including stars and intergalactic matter, is i [...]

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Mag Archives

A new Director-General for a new phase

For Bernard Bigot, who took up his functions on 5 March 2015, all project actors must work together as a single entity. (Click to view larger version...)
For Bernard Bigot, who took up his functions on 5 March 2015, all project actors must work together as a single entity.
After Ambassador Kaname Ikeda (2006-2010) and the physicist Osamu Motojima (2010-2015), both Japanese, the third Director-General in ITER Organization history took up his post on 5 March 2015.

Bernard Bigot, from France, was appointed by the ITER Council at a critical time for the project, as the focus of activity is transitioning from design completion to full construction.

"EUR 7 billion are now engaged in ITER construction and manufacturing. As we prepare to assemble the ITER machine and its more than one million parts, it is my responsibility to implement the changes necessary to create the conditions for the effective and integrated management of the ITER Project."

Director-General Bigot has introduced a new organization for the project's Central Team (based at ITER Headquarters in France) and a more integrated way of working with the ITER Domestic Agencies. "In order to improve the management of critical issues that are affecting the project schedule, we must work together as a single entity in order to find solutions to the schedule delays that exist. We must establish a definitive, robust baseline for the cost, schedule and scope of the ITER Project that is fully agreed upon by all partners."

An experienced senior manager of large programs and projects, Bernard Bigot has held positions in research, higher education and government. Prior to his appointment at ITER he completed two terms (2009-2012 and 2012-2015) as Chairman and CEO of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, CEA. And as High Representative for the implementation of ITER in France since 2008, he has had the responsibility of coordinating the realization of ITER and ensuring the representation of France to the ITER Members and the ITER Organization.

"The whole world needs innovative technologies to assure its long-term sustainable supply of energy. Magnetic confinement fusion is one of the most promising options. I am deeply honoured for the possibility of contributing to the large, international and ambitious research program that is ITER, which has innovation as its aim."