As the Fifteenth Meeting of the ITER Council concluded on Thursday 20 November, concrete pouring was underway on the first basement-level walls of the Tokamak Complex.
This new construction milestone was welcomed by the delegates, who also noted the finalization of the Tokamak Complex basemat slab in late August and the progress reported on the manufacturing of key components in the Members’ industries.
Chaired by Robert Iotti from the US, and bringing together senior representatives from China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States, the ITER Council took the important decision to nominate Bernard Bigot, from France, to succeed Osamu Motojima as the next Director-General of the ITER Organization.
Bernard Bigot is the present Administrator-General of the French Atomic and Alternative Energies Authority (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, CEA) and also the High Representative for ITER in France.
Mr Bigot’s five-year appointment will be formalized in due time in accordance with the ITER Agreement, in view of Mr Bigot taking up his duties in 2015.
This decision was 'fully welcomed’ by Osamu Motojima, who described his successor as 'an experienced manager of large projects, a leader who is able to find common ground, an excellent communicator’ and someone 'highly respected in the fusion community.’
The present ITER Director-General also stressed Bernard Bigot’s 'history of close involvement with ITER’ going back to the early 2000 when France was applying to host the project.
Bernard Bigot said he was 'fully aware of the large responsibility that it will be to lead the ITER Project as it enters a new phase’ and that he would 'do [his] utmost to fulfil the expectations of the Council and of all the people involved in ITER.’
As the Fifteenth ITER Council special invitee Pierre-Franck Chevet, President of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de sûreté nucléaire, ASN) made a presentation to the delegates to explain the mission, responsibilities and expectations of the ASN.
The photo gallery from the Fifteenth ITER Council can be viewed here.