Brussels, 22 Sep 2003
The Council took note of the presentation of the Commission on the state of the process for identifying a European candidate site to host the international nuclear fusion energy research project (ITER)6, including the report of the ITER site analysis group chaired by Sir David King.
The Council decided that discussions would continue on this question with a view to be in a position of reaching a decision at its session on November 2003.
In the previous months, the Commission has undertaken a process, in close cooperation with the Member States which have submitted site proposals, for analysing those proposals on the basis of objective criteria, including cost and other aspects. The Commission has called on the necessary expertise and adopted a time schedule to ensure that the analyses are completed for the end of 2003, the dateline set by all negotiating parties to this project.
For the time being, there have been four candidate sites proposed: Cadarache (France), Clarington (Canada), Rokkasho (Japan) and Vandellos (Spain).
The Commission has the intention to submit by the end of 2003 two proposals for decisions, one concerning the international agreement on ITER implementation and the other the structure of the joint undertaking which will be responsible for the European contribution to this project.
­ ITER implementation will include a construction phase lasting about ten years, an operation phase lasting about 20 years and a decommissioning phase,
­ the total cost of the construction phase is estimated at 4 570 million. The total cost of the project, covering the three phases mentioned above and including funds for decommissioning, is estimated at 10 300 million.
Intergovernmental negotiations on the possible Joint implementation of ITER started in November 2001 among four participants: Canada, the European Community, Japan, and Russia. At the meeting held in St. Petersburg in February 2003, China and the USA acceded to the negotiations.