Part of the reason for the slow progress is down to the way the project is structured. The European Union, as host party, will contribute up to about 50% of the costs and the other parties 10% each. However, technical decisions require consensus and because those relating to the design of components will inevitably impact some parties more than others, it is difficult to reach. In one case discussions dragged on for six years without a definitive answer. Without that decision work did not progress
Dr. Bigot decides that ITER must gear up to take a more decisive role in the project. “What was plaguing the project before is that there was confusion between the best technical solution and sharing of the cost," said Bigot. “Now I want just the best technical decision. The cost will be covered according to the share of the parties, reflecting the spirit of the ITER agreement"
Dr. Bigot's current aim is to accomplish the deuterium-tritium plasma (previously planned for March 2027), to a more realistic date. “We are now considering the best way to move on from the first plasma and rush as much as possible to the DT plasma, which will please the scientific community," Bigot said
ITER intends to step up to the plate whenever some parties face difficulties complying with the schedule for delivery of equipment by putting the interests of the project first, and redistribute tasks. For example, the organization has already taken charge of procurement of some components on behalf of domestic agencies, although they still remain responsible for the costs
Dr. Bigot stresses that the project is too far advanced for design changes, with more than €7 billion of procurement contracts in place and over 1000 companies at work
“You could not just change [the scope] in the middle...you have to go, or stop." He concluded: "The time has come for the ITER Organization to demonstrate it is serious. The biggest risk is that we lose trust of the political leaders and public opinion, then the project would be dead"
Link to Original Source