A new year, a new chapter in building ITER!

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A new year, a new chapter in building ITER!

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In order to hold the promise of launching ITER operations in 2019 and to prove the viability of fusion power to the world, we will have to focus and work very hard in all areas of the project to meet higher standards for both performance and efficiency in order to support the outstanding challenges ahead. I know that we can and that we will meet these challenges!

My first priority this year thus continues to be the completion of the ITER design and to fully concentrate on construction. The structure of the ITER Organization has to change accordingly: it has to become simpler, centralized and task force oriented in order to adapt to the new era of construction.

Within the coming weeks we will finalize the restructuring of the Organization. As a first step, Rem Haange, who recently returned the stellerator project W7-X back on track, has joined the ITER Project as Head of the ITER Project Department. I have the utmost confidence that Dr. Haange will provide outstanding leadership and continue to successfully advance the ITER Project. The new Head of the Administration Department will also be decided within the next two months.

ITER is a tremendous scientific and technological project that will also serve as precedence for a new culture of global cooperation. A close, long-lasting relationship with all seven ITER Members and the industries in the 34 countries represented is crucial for the success of this enterprise. To this end, I recently embarked on a world trip to meet the individual Heads of Delegation of the seven Members, explaining the needs and the status of the Organization's restructuring process. The implementation of a Bureau of International Cooperation with seven "hot lines" to the Members is another step to improve the cooperation and to enable us to react faster.

We know that in 2011 we will be faced with many challenges. Keeping to our schedule and containing the project's cost are among the most important. We will successfully overcome these challenges on the condition that we believe in ourselves and in our project, and work as hard as we can to reach our objectives.

For all of us and for me in particular, building ITER is a tremendous responsibility. The world is watching us and history will tell whether we have been up to this magnificent task.


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