ITER Council: project metrics confirm performance

ITER 16 NOV, 2017

The governing body of the ITER Organization, the ITER Council, met for the twenty-first time on 15 and 16 November 2017 under the chairmanship of Won Namkung (Korea). Representatives from China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States reviewed a detailed set of reports and indicators covering both organizational and technical performance, and concluded that the project remains on track for success.

Despite the extremely demanding construction and manufacturing schedule and the challenging technical requirements of the ITER Tokamak and support systems, ITER Council members confirmed that the project continues on a path to success, with strengthened management and a strong ”One-ITER” team mentality.

In November 2007—ten years ago exactly—the ITER Council convened for the first time in the history of the ITER Organization. Clearing had just begun on the ITER site, the ITER design was under review, and only 170 people were working on site, housed by ITER’s host and neighbour—the CEA Cadarache research centre.

Twenty meetings later and a quantum leap forward, the ITER Organization assesses the level of manufacturing completion for First Plasma components and systems at 61 percent and the level of total construction work scope completion through First Plasma at 49 percent.

Since early 2016, the ITER Organization has been controlling and reporting project progress on the basis of high-level milestones. Whether related to construction, manufacturing or deliveries—or rather to programmatic milestones like recruitment and contract signatures—these milestones are underpinned in the schedule by the many thousands of activities that make up progress to First Plasma, with each one representing a firm achievement on the road to ITER operation.

During the two-day meeting, members confirmed that the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies have achieved all Council-approved milestones for 2016 and 2017, maintaining strict adherence to the overall project schedule and critical path.
Processes for schedule control, risk management and cooperation also continue to improve, with project performance metrics that now measure physical progress in construction, manufacturing, assembly and installation down to the level of each building system and component.

The Council continued its candid discussions acknowledging continuing efforts made by each Member to overcome various challenges, which includes ensuring approval of the cost baseline, as concluded in IC-19¹. Council members reaffirmed their strong belief in the value of the project, and its mission and vision, and resolved to work together to find timely solutions to ensure ITER’s success.