ITER (Extract from: Preparation of the Competitiveness Council, November 26)

November 26, 2003

Brussels, 25 November 2003

The Council will discuss the issue of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). 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 temperatures. ITER partners include the European Union, Japan, Russia, Canada, the United States, the People's Republic of China and South Korea. The EU is participating 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 an international level by the end of year. Should the Council not take a formal decision on the site and cost-sharing arrangements at EU level during the meeting, the issue will be discussed again on December 3.

DN: MEMO/03/240 Date: 25/11/2003

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