Bernard Bigot, former General Administrator of the CEA and Managing director of Iter passed away

An important member of the CEA and Iter, Bernard Bigot died on May 14th. His career has been hailed by many players in the nuclear world.

Bernard Bigot, High Commissioner for Atomic Energy from 2003 to 2009, General Administrator of the CEA from 2009 to 2015 and Managing Director of Iter – the international fusion reactor project – died on May 14, 2022. Several tributes have been addressed to him. “Bernard Bigot commanded admiration by his self-sacrifice in the service of the general interest. It is a very big loss. Bernard was a servant of the State in the highest sense”, also explains François Jacq, current general administrator of the CEA.

In a press release, the organization in charge of Iter testifies: “in his functions as High Commissioner for Atomic Energy and throughout his two terms as head of the Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA), Bernard Bigot have mobilized his intelligence, his creativity, his talents as a diplomat and his impressive devotion to his work to bring about “the better world” he was calling for”.

Bernard Bigot had a long career in the energy service. Former student of the École Normale Supérieure of Saint-Cloud, associate professor of physical sciences and Doctor of Chemistry, Bernard Bigot is at the origin of the creation of the École Normale Supérieure of Lyon. In addition to his research and teaching work, he held important positions within the Ministry of Research and National Education between 1993 and 1997, then from 2002 to 2003. He was appointed General Administrator of the CEA in 2009, then general manager of Iter Organization in 2015.

Many other testimonies of friendship and respect were displayed on social networks, as below. In order, those of the deputy and mathematician Cédric Villani, the CEO of EDF, Jean-Bernard Lévy, and the director of the international atomic energy agency Rafael Grossi.

Sfen salutes a great scientist who was able to initiate & support ITER in an important construction phase at a time when the world is regaining a lively dynamism on nuclear fusion. He was kind enough to give us an interview during an RGN devoted to nuclear fusion. He told us : “The world must find an alternative to the massive consumption of fossil fuels on which we still depend far too much and whose effects on global warming and our society will no longer be sustainable  in the decades to come”.

Published on 17 May 2022

Copyright photo : CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP