From 16 to 17 November 2016, the 19th ITER Council Meeting was held at the ITER headquarters, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France. Council members and experts from China, EU, India, Japan, ROK, Russia and US and senior officials of the ITER organization attended the meeting. Yin Hejun, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, led the Chinese delegation to the meeting.
The meeting discussed the updated long-term project schedule, human resource allocation plan and increased cost demand as proposed by the ITER organization, and stated their position on the latest benchmark documents based on the results of the discussion. As the most important outcome of the meeting, the parties approved, through consensus, the updated overall schedule, which covers the period up to First Plasma in 2025 and on to Deuterium-Tritium Operation in 2035. It must be pointed out that the overall project costs related to the schedule will be submitted to the Council for endorsement only after receiving the approval of the national governments.
The meeting applauded the sound collaboration between the ITER organization and domestic agencies in the past 18 months as well as the efforts and progress made by the leadership team headed by Director General Bernard Bigot in project construction, organization management and culture building. The participants concluded that the successful completion of the 29 milestone events for 2016, on schedule and on budget, has boosted the morale for the implementation of the plan and laid the foundation for the completion of the various tasks according to the schedule. The meeting has further straightened out the management strategy for the ITER project and accelerated its implementation.
As the common practice, the meeting also included the report by the Director General on the progress of ITER implementation and the work report of the Chairman of the Management Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee and Chairman of the Test Blanket Module (TBM) Program Committee, reviewed the document on the progress of ITER implementation jointly submitted by the ITER organization and domestic agencies, including the 2016 work plan and budget execution, 2017 budget and 2018 forecast, signing of procurement arrangement and manufacturing progress.