Posted on: 6th June 2002
Joint News Release
Cadarache, France- June 6, 2002. Delegations from Canada, the European Union (EU), Japan and the Russian Federation made significant progress towards the preparation of an agreement for the joint implementation of the ITER project at their Negotiations meeting hosted by the EU in Cadarache this week. ITER one of the largest international collaborative scientific and technological projects, with the goal of taking the next major step in the development of fusion as an attractive energy source for our planet. The meeting was the fourth in a series that is expected to lead to an international agreement on the joint implementation of ITER.
The negotiators were welcomed by the Dr Achilleas Mitsos, Director General for Research, European Commission, by Dr. Pascal Colombani, ” Administrateur General du Commissariat a I’Energie Atomique, and by Dr. Rene Pellat, High Commissionner for Atomic Energy.
Notable events at this fourth Negotiations meeting were the submission of proposals to host the project by the European Union – at sites in Cadarache, France and Vandellos, Spain – and by Japan at Rokkasho-mura in the Aomori Prefecture. These new site offers join a proposal to host by Canada, presented in Moscow on June 7, 2001. With the submission of these offers, the EU and Japan have also signaled their support to proceed fully with the preparation for the implementation of the ITER project.
Heads of delegations were unanimous in expressing their optimism at the progress made.
The transmission by the EU Delegation of the two site offers made by the Spanish and the French Governments was made possible by the European Council of Ministers adoption on May 27, 2002, of a proposal to extend the European Commission’s negotiating mandate on ITER. The Commission was authorized to transmit offers of potential candidates for European Sites proposed by Member States and to negotiate financing and cost-sharing arrangements in conjunction with site offers, as well as transitional arrangements. The presentation to the negotiators of the Cadarache site offer was made by Dr. Jacquinot.
Japan’s decision to offer a site for ITER was agreed on May 31, 2002 by the Cabinet based upon the conclusion of the Council for Science and Technology Policy on the ITER Project which suggested the importance of Japanese hosting of ITER and the principle of cost sharing for the negotiation. The presentation to the negotiators of the Rokkasho-mura site offer was made by the member of the Japanese Delegation from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The Canadian delegation welcomed the new site proposals and the extended negotiating mandates from the European Union and Japan, and expressed their support for now proceeding with the joint assessment of the sites.
The Russian Federation Delegation stated that the work related to ITER is considered to be of high priority and is conducted in accordance to the federal programme of 2002-2005 that is aimed to the preparation of the construction of ITER. This work is conducted in close relation with the Russian industry. The RF Delegation also welcomed the site offers.
At this fourth meeting of the Negotiators, the Delegations also furthered their discussions on the Joint Implementation Agreement to initiate the construction of ITER, and a number of other related technical issues such as the site assessment process, approaches to the cost sharing and procurement allocation, and the organizational structure of the eventual international organization for ITER.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Delegations agreed that the site offers and negotiating mandates of the EU and Japan represent substantial progress on issues critical to the successful implementation of the ITER project.
The next meeting of the Negotiators will be held in Toronto, Canada on
September 17-18, 2002.
• ITER, which means “the way” in Latin, is an international fusion energy research and development project with the goal of taking the next major step in the development of fusion energy as a safe, clean and sustainable energy source for our planet.
• Fusion is the energy that powers the sun and the stars. Research into fusion has been conducted since the 1920′s, and recent advances have renewed interest in the technology. It is inherently safe and clean- any change in the process will result in an immediate shutdown and no fuel waste or greenhouse emissions are produced.
• ITER would be the world’s largest international cooperative research and development project next to the space station and would be constructed for approximately $48 US over 10 years and operated for about the same amount over 20 years.
• The international ITER organization was launched in 1985 by Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan and other world leaders. The design of ITER required an investment of
$1.5 8 US and was completed in 2001. Negotiations began in November 2001 towards the implementation of the project- where it will be built, how the costs and procurement responsibilities will be shared, and how it will be managed and operated. Current ITER participants are Canada, the European Union, Japan and the Russian Federation.
• Four offers to host ITER have been submitted. The first was from Canada with an offer to host ITER at its Clarington site near Toronto, submitted on June 7, 2001. On June 5, three additional site offers were submitted, two from the European Union including one at Cadarache, France and one at Spain at Vandellos, and one site from Japan at Rokkasho-mura in Aomori Prefecture.
Upcoming Negotiations Meetings are planned for Toronto, Canada, September 17-18, Aomori, October 29-30 and Barcelona, December 10-11.