ITER remembers IAEA chief Yukiya Amano
The ITER Organization has learned with sadness that the three-term Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, has passed away.
In September 2016, ITER and IAEA director generals discussed the possibiliites of expanded cooperation from the fifth floor of ITER Headquarters. Also present that day were Anne Lazar-Sury, French governor at IAEA, and Jean-Louis Falconi, French ambassador to the IAEA.
Director General Amano was a long-time advocate of fusion energy research, and under his leadership (2009-2019) the IAEA continued to play a central role in fostering international collaboration and coordination to help close the existing gaps in physics, technology and regulation and move forward in developing the peaceful use of fusion energy.
On a visit to the ITER site in 2012
, Director General Amano had these words for the ITER Newsline: "My hope is that ITER will open the door to fusion power and provide the ITER Members with the technology to design and build the first generation of fusion power stations. The challenge is huge, but I have faith in the ingenuity of human beings and the ability of our scientists and engineers to overcome even the most daunting technological hurdles."
Director General Amano gave a keynote speech at the third Monaco ITER International Fusion Days (MIIFED
) in 2013 and returned to ITER Headquarters in 2016 to discuss the possibilities for expanding cooperation
between the two international organizations.
These efforts resulted in the IAEA-ITER Practical Arrangements that were concluded last month
In October 2016, at the 26th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference in Kyoto, Japan, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was one of the first visitors to the ITER stand.
Although not present for the signature, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano sent a statement noting the importance of the new arrangements. "The challenge to achieve the goal of fusion power production can only be met through concerted international efforts. ITER's impressive work plays a central role in this field. We look forward to our intensified collaboration."
ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot said he was saddened by the news. "Amano-san was a long-time personal friend and a strong, coherent voice for the promotion of nuclear power and hydrogen fusion power. He was also a true friend of ITER—not only because the IAEA is the Depository of the ITER Agreement, but also because of his personal interest and commitment. After decades of work as a champion of clean energy, he deserved a full and rich retirement, and I find it tragic to hear of his untimely passing."
Read the statement from the IAEA here.
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