International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) (Extracted from Results of the Competitiveness council)

March 5, 2003

Results of the Competitiveness Council of Ministers, Brussels, 3rd March 2003

Commissioner Busquin presented the state of play of negotiations on the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) nuclear fusion energy research project. A full progress report will be presented at the forthcoming Competitiveness Council on 12/13 May.

Commissioner Busquin underlined two issues have still to be solved: the choice of the site where the ITER facility will be built, and cost sharing. He underlined that, with the return of the United States and the participation of the People's Republic of China, costs will be better distributed. He also underlined no additional financial burden will result for the EU budget.

The Spanish and French delegations underlined the importance of the ITER project. They both confirmed their application to host the ITER facility. A consensus on a draft international agreement to fulfil the ITER, including the site and the cost-sharing scheme between partners, is envisaged for the end of 2003.

DN: MEMO/03/47 Date: 04/03/2003

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