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  • A world in itself

    From a height of some 50 metres, you have the entire ITER worksite at your feet. The long rectangle of the Diagnostics Building stands out in the centre, with [...]

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  • US completes toroidal field deliveries for ITER

    The US Domestic Agency achieved a major milestone in February by completing the delivery of all US-supplied toroidal field conductor to the European toroidal fi [...]

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  • Thin diagnostic coils to be fitted into giant magnets

    Last week was marked by the first delivery of diagnostic components—Continuous External Rogowski (CER) coils—from the European Domestic Agency to the ITER Organ [...]

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  • Addressing the challenge of plasma disruptions

    Plasma disruptions are fast events in tokamak plasmas that lead to the complete loss of the thermal and magnetic energy stored in the plasma. The plasma control [...]

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  • Blending (almost) seamlessly into the landscape

    Located in the foothills of the French Pre-Alps, the ITER installation blends almost seamlessly into the landscape. The architects' choice ofmirror-like steel c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

The next six months will be crucial

-Hervé Pero, European Commission

''Corrective actions on the schedule slippages, as they were proposed by the management of the ITER Organization during this week's Management Advisory Committee (MAC), show the right approach,'' says Hervé Pero, Head of the European delegation to MAC. (Click to view larger version...)
''Corrective actions on the schedule slippages, as they were proposed by the management of the ITER Organization during this week's Management Advisory Committee (MAC), show the right approach,'' says Hervé Pero, Head of the European delegation to MAC.
There are good reasons why the European Union supports, and will continue to support, ITER.

ITER is a major international project. It opens long-term scientific, technological and industrial opportunities, and it is in line with the European energy policy defined in the Energy Roadmap 2050 that calls for a low-carbon, competitive economy by 2050 and a 60 percent reduction of CO2 emissions in the power sector by 2030.

Due to the many challenges of fusion energy—just look at the size of the investment in ITER—this is a project that could only be attempted at an international level.

After the end of an offical MAC session, the chairs are moved closely together for a more informal discussion. (Click to view larger version...)
After the end of an offical MAC session, the chairs are moved closely together for a more informal discussion.
However, let's always remember that fusion technology remains in competition with other technological approaches for energy generation. We therefore need to implement and stop losing time. We must bear in mind that we have been entrusted with public funds, which gives us an enormous responsibility towards the citizens within the ITER Members.

Since the European Union has agreed to earmark funds for ITER through 2020 at the level of EUR 6.6 billion (of which EUR 2.3 billion is for 2012-2013), we have concerns regarding the schedule slippages that have occurred over the past several months. Slippages do not contribute to the positive image of the project; they also risk undermining the political support for ITER if they are not corrected soon. The next six months will therefore be crucial.

Corrective actions on the schedule slippages, as they were proposed by the management of the ITER Organization during this week's meeting of the Management Advisory Committee (MAC), show the right approach. There is a consensus among all ITER Members on the need to preserve the momentum of the project. It is also crucial to soon complete the design of the vacuum vessel and also to deliver the final set of design data for the conclusion of the Tokamak Complex construction contract.

The European Union will, along with the MAC, closely monitor the implementation of all actions during the next weeks, which are critical in order to confirm the success of the proposed recovery plan.

Hervé Pero is acting Director of Energy within the Directorate General for Research at the European Commission.



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