Informal debate on ITER (Extract from: Preparation of the Competitiveness Council of 10 Nov.)

November 10, 2003

Brussels, 7th November 2003

The Council will hold an informal debate on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) at lunchtime. ITER aims to build a new large-scale experimental reactor producing a high level of energy through the fusion of hydrogen nuclei at very high temperature. ITER partners include the European Union, Japan, Russia, Canada, the United States, the People's Republic of China and South Korea. The EU participates with a total of €750 million, representing the biggest share of the EU's €1.250 billion EURATOM Framework Programme (2003-2006) budget.

The programme should create conditions for the construction of the ITER facility over the next few years. Total costs for ITER construction and operation should amount to €10 billion over 30 years. Two European countries, Spain and France, have presented candidate sites. Japan and Canada also presented candidate sites. The decision on the site and cost-sharing arrangements should be taken at international level by the end of year. The Council will take no formal decision at the November 10th meeting. Further deliberations on these issues are expected at the November th Competitiveness Council meeting.

DN: MEMO/03/222 Date: 07/11/2003

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