Early September 2007 the offices of the ITER Organization are buzzing: New staff members of the first block of vacancies are moving in and taking up their new tasks in the ITER project, adding up to a total of 170 (status September 10, 2007). 140 more people will join within the next half year.
Also within the next few months we will see another big step in the history of ITER: the entry into force of the ITER Agreement. With China about to finalize its adoption of the Agreement and the other parties having concluded their ratification processes, we are now very close to ITER formally becoming a true international organization.
Besides these political and administrative aspects, an intensive technical effort is currently focused on the design of the ITER machine. Starting on the 17th of this month, we will organize extensive review meetings with experts from all seven ITER Members for one week at the Château to finalize the draft baseline design for ITER, which will then be presented to the ITER Council for approval in November. This will certainly mark the start of a new era of this project, where we can fully focus on construction.