For the fusion community an historic milestone was achieved at the Eighth ITER Negotiations Meeting on February 18-19, 2003 in St. Petersburg (Russian Federation), when delegations from the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America joined those from Canada, the European Union, Japan and the Russian Federation in their efforts to reach agreement on the implementation of the ITER project. The Head of the Chinese Delegation indicated that China, as the largest developing country in the world, has a great need to pursue alternative energy sources. China believes that ITER can potentially lead to new forms of energy and contribute to the peaceful and sustainable development of the world in the long-term. China expressed its strong wishes to be a valuable member of the ITER family, to make joint efforts with other partners to the successful exploitation of fusion energy.

At their St. Petersburg meeting the ITER Negotiators approved the Report on the Joint Assessment of Specific Sites (JASS). The JASS Report provided as a main conclusion and despite the differences between the candidate sites (Clarington in Canada, Cadarache in France, Vandellos in Spain and Rokkasho-mura in Japan) that the JASS assessment ascertained that all four sites are sound and fully capable to respond to all ITER Site Requirements and Design Assumptions, as approved by the ITER Council in its January 2000 meeting.