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An Interview with Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, Chairman of the ITER Council

-Sabina Griffith

Ambassador for Fusion... Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith (Click to view larger version...)
Ambassador for Fusion... Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith
Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith is the first Chairman of the ITER Council and one of the most prominent ambassadors for fusion energy. Being the Director of UKAEA Culham Division, he is responsible for the UK's fusion programme. His role is to lead the UK's contribution to the development of fusion as a viable environmentally responsible source of energy on the "fast—track" advocated by the British government. He is also Chairman of the Consultative Committee for Euratom on Fusion. From 1999 until 2000 Llewellyn Smith was President of University College London and from 1994 until 1998 he was Director General of CERN. Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith is a theoretical physicist and has worked on a wide range of topics related to particle physics experiments. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1984, and his scientific contributions and leadership have been recognised by many awards and honours, including a knighthood in 2001 for "services to particle physics".

Newsline: Being the Chairman of the ITER Council, could you please comment the goal of that important meeting and its outcome.

Chris Llewellyn Smith: For me the main goal was to agree on the new reference design and on the new schedule for planning. We achieved that, and came out with the very important message that this is the design that the Council wishes to build — a design which, with an acceptable degree of risk, will deliver the goals of ITER, and demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion. That we got, although it remains an aspiration as the necessary resources are not yet in place, and no commitments were made to increase the budget. We also agreed on the project schedule for planning purposes. This schedule is ambitious, and I felt that this is good news too. The message is: this is what we want to build and the Council wishes to build it fast. So, overall the outcome was very positive.

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