2008 has been the ITER Organization's first full year and I think it is worth taking some time to stand back and look at what has been achieved.
People are at the heart of the ITER Organization and in 2008 we have been able to recruit first-class staff. Our staff numbers have increased from 180 to 300 in 2008 and I am very pleased with the model of international teamwork that is developing. There are many other metrics which indicate the momentum of the project and both the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies can be proud of their achievements. Progress has been considerable. All Domestic Agencies are now established, a schedule against which to measure our performance exists, procurement arrangements are being signed, the preparation of the ITER platform is nearly completed, and the ITER Organization has a headquarters building on its own site. Scientific R&D has progressed well and I would like to congratulate team working at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, China for the excellent results on the High Temperature Superconductor current leads that have just been announced.
This issue of ITER Newsline includes a pictorial record of some of the many highlights of 2008 at ITER. There have been some tough times in 2008 but the ITER staff has consistently risen to the challenge and I would like to thank you all for your contribution to the creation of one of the great science projects of our time. After this very busy year, take time over the holidays to relax and enjoy friends and family. We will be back, fully refreshed, in the new year for an outstanding 2009 at ITER. return to Newsline #63