Potential for Reorganization within the ITER Project to Improve Cost-Effectiveness

15-05-2013

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project is an international scientific undertaking between seven cofinancing Parties intended to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion as a power source. Fusion for Energy (F4E) is the Domestic Agency charged with providing the EU contribution to the ITER International Organisation. ITER, and subsequently, F4E costs have increased substantially from original estimates, because of a number of internal and external drivers. While the EU has continued to affirm its support for the project, cost overruns have attracted a large amount of political questions, culminating in the capping of ITER expenditure through 2020 at 6,6 billion Euros, and have accentuated early difficulties of the F4E organisation. Beginning in 2010, a number of reforms were undertaken within F4E, including a reshuffling and reorientation of the governance and management structures, as well as significant efforts to implement cost-savings. The reforms have been widely lauded as effective and positive by stakeholders, although the inherent cost-effectiveness of F4E remains inextricably linked with the ITER project as a whole. Despite F4E’s commendable efforts, the margin to achieve the cost-savings needed to rebuild the contingency is highly limited by inherent characteristics of F4E’s operating environment. However, the study puts forward some tracks for improvements.

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project is an international scientific undertaking between seven cofinancing Parties intended to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion as a power source. Fusion for Energy (F4E) is the Domestic Agency charged with providing the EU contribution to the ITER International Organisation. ITER, and subsequently, F4E costs have increased substantially from original estimates, because of a number of internal and external drivers. While the EU has continued to affirm its support for the project, cost overruns have attracted a large amount of political questions, culminating in the capping of ITER expenditure through 2020 at 6,6 billion Euros, and have accentuated early difficulties of the F4E organisation. Beginning in 2010, a number of reforms were undertaken within F4E, including a reshuffling and reorientation of the governance and management structures, as well as significant efforts to implement cost-savings. The reforms have been widely lauded as effective and positive by stakeholders, although the inherent cost-effectiveness of F4E remains inextricably linked with the ITER project as a whole. Despite F4E’s commendable efforts, the margin to achieve the cost-savings needed to rebuild the contingency is highly limited by inherent characteristics of F4E’s operating environment. However, the study puts forward some tracks for improvements.

Vanjski autor

Ernst & Young - Government & Public Sector (GPS) (Paris-la-Défense, France)