Bernard Bigot, the new director-general of ITER has a comment in Nature. In it he discusses frankly his view of how ITER lost its way over the past ten years, leading to numerous inefficiencies in the way the various parts of ITER are constructed and integrated, and causing delays and cost overruns; and what he plans to do to keep the project in line in the future. In essence, his answers are a stronger central organization and a discretionary fund into which each member contributes, rather than just letting each member of ITER do its own thing and hope everything ends up fitting together physically and temporally. There will be a new official schedule later this year:
Before the end of this year, I am expected to submit, along with all stakeholders, an updated, robust and reliable schedule to the ITER Council, and a cost and risk analysis.
Of course, Bigot couldn’t help ending with an appeal that seems to send the message that ITER is our only hope:
All of us at ITER have a huge, historic responsibility. The project may be the last chance we have this century to demonstrate that fusion is manageable.