On June 17, the governing body of the ITER Organization convened in France. This meeting focused on the new direction for the ITER members under the new Secretary General Bernard Bigot.
The ITER governing body consists of representatives from seven member countries: the United States, China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, and Russia.
The problems of ITER that led General Bigot to integrate was the overall disorganization of the project management. Currently the project is over budget and is behind schedule, but since the appointment of Secretary General Bigot to the head of the ITER project, he has crafted a plan and a new direction for the progress of ITER.
The members discussed the goal of achieving a “project-oriented organization.” This means integrating the ITER Organization Central Team and the Domestic Agencies from nation-state members in order to create an Executive Project Board (EPB). Setting up this board will allow representation from the seven domestic agency heads, so that quick and effective actions can be made possible. Prior to the creation of the EPB, representatives of the domestic agencies had the rank of Deputy-Director General, which made for unnecessary confusion in the ITER Central Team. With the creation of the central team, only technical people are present, so decisions and discussions are simplified and made effective.
This meeting was very important way-point for Congress to determine the future U.S. contributions to ITER and fusion energy projects.
The ITER Council stressed the importance of stopping the delays of critical components and parts to the project. They must give top priority to the construction of essential components and parts.
Under the direction of Sec. General Bigot, the EPB has been established, a reorganization has occurred, and a reserve fund has been implemented. In addition, the construction site has received vital components such as high voltage transformers and two giant drain tanks, within the last year.