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Of Interest

See archived entries

34th ITER Council

Updated baseline presented

Nearly 100 people met for two days last week for the 34th Meeting of the ITER Council. The meeting was an important one, as the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies presented a proposed update of the project baseline. Re-baselining has three objectives: optimizing the overall project schedule, minimizing the delay to the start of substantial research operations (full magnet current, deuterium-deuterium fusion operation, etc.), and lowering licensing and technical risks. 

Member delegates, their experts and interpreters, and representatives of the ITER Organization and the ITER Domestic Agencies, convene as part of the 34th ITER Council on 19 and 20 June 2024. Also present were the Chairs of the ITER Council advisory committees, the High French Representative for ITER, and a senior advisor to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. (Click to view larger version...)
Member delegates, their experts and interpreters, and representatives of the ITER Organization and the ITER Domestic Agencies, convene as part of the 34th ITER Council on 19 and 20 June 2024. Also present were the Chairs of the ITER Council advisory committees, the High French Representative for ITER, and a senior advisor to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
On taking office in October 2022, Director-General Pietro Barabaschi launched a program of project reform, with the support of the Domestic Agencies and under the supervision of the ITER Council. These reforms included streamlined project management, heightened attention to quality control, and enhanced reporting. In addition, they addressed the need to develop a revised project baseline, due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and technical challenges linked to the first-of-a-kind nature of many components.

At the 34th Meeting of the ITER Council, which took place on 19 and 20 June 2024, the ITER Organization, with support from the Domestic Agencies, submitted a proposed update to the project baseline for the Council's consideration.

The proposed new baseline would prioritize the start of substantial research operations as rapidly as possible by consolidating tokamak assembly stages, enhancing pre-assembly testing, and reducing machine assembly and commissioning risks. The proposal designs a path to a scientifically and technically robust initial phase of operations, including deuterium-deuterium fusion operation in 2035 followed by full magnetic energy and plasma current operation. 

The Council reaffirmed that the fusion operations pursued by ITER remain strongly relevant for global fusion research and development and the national fusion programs of the ITER Members. The proposed baseline will be further evaluated, including the cost and schedule implications of this new approach, before the Council reconvenes in November 2024.  

ITER Director-General Barabaschi will hold a hybrid press conference (in-person and remote) at 10:30 a.m. CET on 3 July 2024. All details will be posted on the ITER website under Events

During the two-day meeting, the Council also received reports on the progress of construction (including repairs of key components), manufacturing, assembly, and licensing; appointed Ms DeLeah Lockridge (United States) as Head of the Engineering Services Department; and welcomed the engagement of the project with private fusion sector initiatives.

See the press release in English or French.




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