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Of Interest

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Aligning the pillars of the project

Norbert Holtkamp, Principal Deputy Director-General (Click to view larger version...)
Norbert Holtkamp, Principal Deputy Director-General
The ITER collaboration is currently finalizing its project baseline. Last week, both the Science and Technology (STAC) and the Management (MAC) Advisory Committees convened to discuss the updated Integrated Project Schedule that will be presented to the fourth ITER Council meeting in Mito, Japan, from 17-18 June.

This updated schedule describes ITER all the way from the beginning of construction, through commissioning, and on to Deuterium-Tritium operation in 2026. It includes a phased approach in which the major components of the ITER machine, such as the magnets and the vacuum vessel, will be assembled and tested before the installation of in-vessel components continues. This approach has been adopted by all major tokamaks, and offers the advantage of substantially reduced overall risk. We are currently establishing a list that details the components that will be installed before 2018, and those that will be installed during a later phase. The list will be finalized soon. We have also created a fully-integrated research plan that begins with First Plasma in 2018. Both the updated schedule and the research plan were well received at the recent STAC and MAC meetings.

In the course of the last week, it was reassuring to witness the strong support from the seven Domestic Agencies and the two committees to this phased approach. Now, the details of the plan remain to be hammered out.

Within the next six months, until the fifth Council meeting in November, we will move forward according to this updated schedule. A full suite of performance measurement systems and tools will be put in place. A series of meetings between schedulers, cost estimators and project managers, as well as the leaders of the ITER Organization and the seven Domestic Agencies, has already been set up in order to align the three pillars of the project: scope, schedule and cost.

We have not lost sight of our other priority for this year: to conclude the design and to sign off on the Procurement Arrangements which will allow us to launch the manufacturing of ITER.

return to Newsline #84