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    With more than 120,000 members globally, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is billed as the world's largest scientific society. The [...]

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Of Interest

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ITER all-staff meeting in year number five

Sabina Griffith

Director-General Osamu Motojima addressing the ITER staff during this year's reception. (Click to view larger version...)
Director-General Osamu Motojima addressing the ITER staff during this year's reception.
With more than 700 staff including contractors, an ITER all-staff meeting is not easy to organize these days. And so it was a welcomed opportunity to move this New Year's reception to Osco Manosco, the newly built communal hall of the neighbouring city of Manosque. As host it fell to the city's mayor, Bernard Jeanmet-Peralta, to address the first words to the gathered crowd—and not without some faint irony: "Quelle machine infernale," Peralta yelled, holding his hands against his ears. "What a diabolic machine..." Of course the mayor wasn't referring to the ITER machine being built only a dozen kilometers to the south of his city, but to the sound system that was suffering from some "diabolic" acoustic feedback from the microphones.

Peralta was followed by Jean-Paul Clement, Director of the International School in Manosque which many of the ITER children attend. And then it was the turn of Osamu Motojima, the ITER Director-General, as well as the project's three Deputy Directors Rem Haange, Rich Hawryluk and Carlos Alejaldre to wrap up the achievements of the past year. Motojima compared the ITER project with a train that is picking up speed. "During the acceleration phase increased tension is appearing at the joints between individual cabins," he said, explaining that each cabin of the train stood for an individual element within the project.

''The ITER train is picking up speed,'' DG Motojima said. (Click to view larger version...)
''The ITER train is picking up speed,'' DG Motojima said.
It wasn't without satisfaction that Director Motojima pointed out that the project's Schedule Performance Index had increased markedly and that the Strategic Management Plan, developed during the year 2011 to minimize potential delays, was showing positive effects in keepting the project within the schedule and cost boundaries cemented by the ITER Baseline. "Today, the ITER budget is secured in all seven Member states," he continued. "Sixty-five Procurement Arrangements have been signed so far representing almost 75 % of the project's in-kind value."

So much for the project's status. With the first one hundred contracts coming to an end this year—year number five for the ITER Organization—and more contracts terminating in early 2013, there was genuine interest in the future staffing policy. Having answered a handful of questions on this issue by explaining management's approach, Director Motojima then opened the buffet where the Galettes des Rois, a traditional toroidal brioche, were waiting to be shared by all. 



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