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Benchmarking ITER progress

-Sabina Griffith

ITER Deputy Director-General Remmelt Haange (foreground) explaining the new strategic approaches. Next to him are Council Secretary Sachiko Ishizaka, MAC Chairman Gyung-Su Lee and Director-General Osamu Motojima. (Click to view larger version...)
ITER Deputy Director-General Remmelt Haange (foreground) explaining the new strategic approaches. Next to him are Council Secretary Sachiko Ishizaka, MAC Chairman Gyung-Su Lee and Director-General Osamu Motojima.
Maintaining the ITER project's schedule within the approved funding and mitigating the impact of the Japanese earthquake on the manufacturing of critical components were among the issues discussed at the eleventh meeting of the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) that took place in Cadarache last week.

"This is a very important meeting as we proceed with the construction of ITER," Director-General Osamu Motojima stated to the delegates from the seven ITER Members. In his opening address, the Director-General presented a set of strategic approaches to correct schedule variances and to realize further cost-saving measures. Special attention was given to progress made in the allocation of costs for the Additional Direct Investments that had materialized following a comprehensive review of the ITER design in 2008.

The 11th Management Advisory Committee (MAC) at work. (Click to view larger version...)
The 11th Management Advisory Committee (MAC) at work.
In January, MAC had recommended a set of guidelines on how to distribute these additional costs among the Members. The issue at this week's meeting was how to implement the execution of these guidelines. MAC Chairman, Gyung-Su Lee, explained. "This is a painful, but inevitable process that we have to go through in order to put the ITER project back on course."

Another important issue on the MAC's agenda was the assessment of the impact on the ITER project schedule of the earthquake that hit the east coast of Japan in March. A fact-finding team led by Deputy Director-General Remmelt Haange travelled to Japan earlier this month to investigate the damage. His report, together with the images of partially destroyed manufacturing and testing facilities shown by the Head of the Japanese Domestic Agency, Hiromasa Ninomiya, made it clear that it will take some time to recover from the disaster. However how long this recovery will take is not yet clear. "We are still trying to get our arms around it," Deputy Director-General Rich Hawryluk stated. A special working group has now been established to pursue investigations and to come back with a recovery action plan within the next six months.


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