ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda accompanying Academician Velikhov to the meeting.
Last Wednesday 19 May in the Assembly Room at the Château, ITER Council Chair Evgeny Velikhov addressed the ITER senior staff and management.
Introduced by ITER Director-General Kaname Ikeda as "the man who founded ITER," Academician Velikhov first stressed the Organization's achievements, and congratulated the management for having "fulfilled one of the project's main targets" at this stage: completing the ITER Baseline that will be presented at the upcoming ITER Council in June.
The former adviser to Secretary Gorbatchev, who played a key part in launching the ITER Project in 1985, noted that despite difficulties "... there is no skepticism about ITER. All Members firmly say: We need to build it!"
Academician Velikhov presented his view of the world energy crisis, saying that in his opinion "the gap between supply and demand will open this year." He also spoke at length of fusion and ITER history, stressing the fact that whatever the hardships and difficulties encountered, they were always eventually "overcome"—and "beautifully" at that.
The Chair of the Council then invited all those present to participate in "a free and frank discussion." Several questions were asked, giving Academician Velikhov the opportunity to outline his vision for the future, his hopes and his intentions.