EU offers ITER fall-back

27 September 2004

Janez Potocnik, who will replace Philippe Busquin on 1 November as the European Union’s (EU’s) commissioner for research, has declared that he would be prepared to build an ITER-scale fusion reactor at the French site of Cadarache if there is no international agreement on where to build the prototype, a state of affairs he would consider a ‘major defeat’. In answers to a European Parliament questionnaire, he said the EU “could consider launching the construction of the ITER at Cadarache with those of its partners willing to be involved,” although only as a ‘very last resort’.

Japanese officials have responded by saying that their “basic stance is that the six parties should undertake the project jointly.” The two potential hosts and the rest of the ITER parties (China, Russia, South Korea and the USA) have been deadlocked on the siting decision since last year.

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