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Of Interest

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33rd ITER Council

Making progress, preparing an updated baseline

Like clockwork, the life of the ITER Project is punctuated by biannual ITER Council meetings in June and November every year. Months in advance, reports are produced and reviewed by relevant specialists at the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies, before being circulated to the ITER Members, their delegations and experts. By the time the Council meets for two intensive days on site at ITER, participants have all the status information they need for constructive dialogue and discussion. The Thirty-Third Meeting of the ITER Council this week was no exception.

Just under 100 people attended the 33rd Meeting of the ITER Council—heads of delegations, representatives at ministerial level, experts, observers, and ITER Organization staff members. (Click to view larger version...)
Just under 100 people attended the 33rd Meeting of the ITER Council—heads of delegations, representatives at ministerial level, experts, observers, and ITER Organization staff members.
At the Thirty-Third Meeting of the ITER Council on 16-17 November 2023, ITER Director-General Pietro Barabaschi reported on the progress of the ITER Project, reflecting the efforts of the ITER Organization and Domestic Agencies to position the project for success and strengthen its central position in global efforts to deploy a cleaner, reliable and abundant energy source.

Intensive work is underway to update the 2016 project baseline. This work, which will be presented to the ITER Council in 2024, takes into consideration recovery from past delays incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic and technical challenges of completing first-of-a-kind components, as well as enhanced testing of components such as toroidal field coils in order to offset future risks. A critical aspect is better assembly sequencing, in order to achieve the fastest path to the start of ITER nuclear operation. 

Also important is the dialogue underway with the French nuclear safety authority, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN), to create a strategy to address ITER's first-of-a-kind regulatory needs. 

The Council noted the progress achieved on repairs to key components—the vacuum vessel bevel joints and thermal shield cooling pipes—as well as ongoing manufacturing, assembly, and installation milestones. 

Council Members re-emphasized the strong value of the ITER mission and resolved to work together to find solutions to facilitate ITER's success. They also expressed their support for ITER's commitment to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into hiring actions, work culture, and the cultivation of the next generation of the fusion workforce. The Council noted the ongoing challenges facing the project and expressed appreciation that all ITER Members are continuing to meet their in-kind and in-cash commitments to support project success.

Read the full press release in English and French here.

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