DG Motojima (left) during last week's F4E Board of Governors Meeting at the European Domestic Agency's Headquarters in Barcelona, Spain (here with Carlos Varandas, Octavi Quintana Trias and Raffaele Liberali).
Some very active weeks lie behind us and I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the major events that have occured. First of all, let me recap the outcome of the seventh meeting of the ITER Council that took place on 17-18 November. To summarize the outcome, the Council charged us to continue to implement the cost containment exercise, to finalize the list of unapproved Additional Direct Investments (ADI) and to brush up the budget planning for the years 2011 to 2013. We have already committed ourselves intensively to these charges.
Since the approval of the ITER Baseline at the Extraordinary ITER Council meeting in July of this year, the ITER Organization has focused its efforts on implementing this "roadmap" and also the new management structure. Concerning the Baseline, our top priority is to continue to avoid any slippage in the schedule and to optimize delivery of the design and components in six priority areas: magnet coil feeder, cryostat, vacuum vessel, central solenoid, TF coils and PF coils.
We are also committed to ambitious cost containment actions within the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies. These will need to be reflected in the Work Breakdown Structure as soon as possible. A response to the budget cap of EUR 7.3 billion (4700 kIUA) set by the Extraordinary ITER Council, this goal cannot be realized without a strong collaboration and a good team spirit between the ITER Organization and its agencies. I take this opportunity to thank all my colleagues in the Domestic Agencies and the ITER Organization for the tremendous effort they are already making.
Regarding the management structure, I reported on the progress made in the implementation of a new management structure -selecting each member of staff based on their excellence and professionalism - and on the necessary adjustments needed to finalize it. Through this effort, we will execute adequate measures to improve transparency in the operation of the project, and seek a more strategic approach to budgeting and planning.
Then, on the 17 November, we celebrated the laying of the Foundation Stone for the future ITER Headquarters building - another landmark in the history of the ITER project. The fusion community, to which I have belonged for the past three decades, had long awaited that moment. Our closely-nurtured dream has now become a tangible reality.
In a little more than 18 months, we will move into this beautifully designed and fully functional building. This is the place where we, as a responsible Organization, will work as hard as we can to meet our deadlines and make ITER happen. This Foundation Stone will bear witness, for centuries to come, to this great human, scientific and technological adventure. Let me take this opportunity to reiterate my gratitude for the profound support we have received so far from the seven ITER Members, the local governments and the people in this region. Thank you very much, merci!
Finally, two weeks ago, we witnessed the premier of a new conference series, the Monaco ITER International Fusion Energy Days, in short MIIFED. The ITER Organization and the Principality of Monaco share a common concern for the future of energy and the preservation of our planet's resources, and that is why we have joined our forces to focus on what is at stake with fusion and energy. The first MIIFED edition was already a big success. Representatives from each ITER Member told us that fusion energy is on their agenda for satisfying the energy demand in the second half of this century. The people living on this planet count on us, and it's now up to us to deliver!