The 18th Council Meeting of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) was held in the headquarters of the ITER Organization at Saint Paul-lez-Durance, France from June 15th to 16th 2016. Attendants included council members and experts from the seven ITER parties, i.e. China, the EU, India, Japan, the ROK, Russia and the US; senior staff of the ITER Organization. The Chinese delegation was led by Yin Hejun, Vice Minister of Science and Technology.
Director General Bernard Bigot reported on the progress of ITER and committees under the Council presented work reports. Delegates reviewed updates of ITER benchmarks, including a packaged proposal on updated long-term schedules and plans of resource pre-assessment and human resources allocation. The Director General shared some of his ideas on the recommendations by the independent evaluation team on the updated schedule and personnel distribution. The Council endorsed the results of the independent evaluation, and pledged to make constant improvement to increase efficiency in an open and transparent manner. The meeting acknowledged the efforts and achievements of the leadership of Director General Bernard Bigot over the past one year in improving ITER’s organization and management structures, developing an ITER culture, updating the long-term schedule, making plans for resource pre-assessment and human resources, conducting risk management and promoting cooperation between the ITER Organization and its members. Participants shared the view that the collaboration between the ITER Organization and domestic agencies of ITER members lays a solid ground for the program to reach its milestones on time, and make progress in keeping with or even ahead of schedule. The parties were encouraged to carry out candid cooperation and work toward the goal of First Plasma by 2025, a challenging yet technically feasible task. The success of the meeting clarified some management issues and further expedited the program’s implementation.
During the meeting, Vice Minister Yin also attended the delivery ceremony of the first major transformer designed and built by China – the Pulsed Power Electrical Network (PPEN), and exchanged views with the EU delegation, the Director General and relevant departments of the ITER Organization and the U.S. delegation on topics related to the Council Meeting.