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Remembering ITER’s Bernard Bigot

Dr Bernard Bigot, Director-General of the worldwide fusion research project ITER, passed away on 14 May 2022 due to illness.
Dr Bernard Bigot, ITER Director-General 2015-2022. Credit: ITER Organization

All of EUROfusion consortium are deeply saddened by Dr Bigot’s passing. His leadership and commitment re-energised the ITER project, which will be essential to realising fusion energy here on earth. Bernard Bigot will be missed and his passing mourned by the international fusion community.

Sibylle Günter (IPP Germany and EUROfusion Co-Chair) said:

“At IPP and at EUROfusion we have been so happy to have Bernard Bigot as Director-General of the ITER Organization and are now deeply saddened of this big loss. We and the whole fusion community owe so much to Bernard, especially, of course, his outstanding leadership of the ITER project.

“Without him as Director-General, the ITER project would certainly not have progressed as far as it has. But Bernard Bigot has been an outstanding political leader and reliable friend far beyond the ITER project. We will miss him greatly.”

Ambrogio Fasoli (EPFL Swiss Plasma Center and EUROfusion Chair):

“With Bernard Bigot we are losing a true world beacon of fusion research, perhaps the only one to be so unanimously recognized by all the people and institutions involved in the great quest for fusion energy throughout the world.

“His charisma, his commitment, his rigor and his technical, scientific, managerial and diplomatic abilities will serve as an example to us. Bernard will remain a constant source of inspiration for the efforts to achieve the dream of hydrogen fusion, as he liked to call it.”

Tony Donné, EUROfusion Programme Manager (CEO):

“It is with great sadness that I learned today about the passing away of Bernard Bigot, a great leader, who has succeeded with his enormous amount of dedication and energy to put ITER back on track. Even though he was sick already for some time, he kept working until the moment it was no longer possible. The world fusion community owes Bernard a lot and the best way to remember him is to finalise the ITER project and to make it a success.”

The international ITER project is an international fusion research endeavour based in the south of France. Supported by seven members – China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the USA – ITER aims to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy.

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