European Parliament delegation visits ITER
The European Parliament delegation with Osamu Motojima, ITER IO Director General
Between 16-18 May, a joint delegation of the Budget and Budget Control Committee of the European Parliament travelled to Cadarache to visit the ITER site and learn more about the progress of the project. The delegation brought together 15 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from five different party families combining different expertise and perspectives.
The visit kicked off with a welcome address by the co-chairs of the EP Delegation, Anne Jensen and Bart Staes, who took the opportunity to state the importance that they attached to this trip in order to raise a number of important questions and reach an informed decision about the additional funds required for the ITER project. Osamu Motojima, ITER IO Director General, welcomed the delegation to Cadarache and started by explaining the ITER governance and the role of each party. The F4E Director, Frank Briscoe, offered an account of the execution of tasks performed by F4E and illustrated the measures taken in the field of budget containment. Carlos Varandas, F4E Governing Board Chairman, explained the role of the Governing Board and elaborated on the significance of the contracts awarded so far. Rudolf Strohmeier, concluded with a presentation on the contribution of ITER in Europe’s long term energy strategy, the financial control standards taken up until now and offered an update on improvements which in the pipeline.
During the second day of the fact finding mission to Cadarache, the European Parliament delegation was offered a guided tour of the ITER site and was able to witness the construction progress of the ITER Headquarters, the PF Coils Building and the excavation of the Tokamak complex. During the tour, members of the Delegation had the opportunity to raise questions about the construction roadmap, the anti-seismic pads and the issues relating to safety. The second part of the day started with a visit to Tore Supra, where MEPs familiarised themselves with one of Europe’s finest fusion laboratories and concluded with a session with local actors and industry in order to discuss the tangible benefits of the ITER project and any concerns raised by the local population and authorities.
The trip paved the way for an informed dialogue between the delegation of the European Parliament and different ITER parties. The position of the European Parliament with regards to the additional funds required for the biggest research experiment in the field of energy will be communicated later this year.
Representatives from F4E, the European Parliament, ITER IO and the European Commission at the opening session