Delegations from Canada, the People’s Republic of China, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States of America met in Bejing (China) on November 9 – 10, 2003 to continue their efforts to reach agreement on the implementation of the international fusion energy research project ITER. This was the first such Negotiations Meeting to be held in the People’s Republic of China, and the first full Negotiations Meeting attended by the Republic of Korea, which formally joined the ITER partnership in June 2003.

In his welcoming speech to the delegations, Mr. Xu Guanhua, the Minister of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, emphasized the importance of the ITER Project in the search for new sources of energy, not only for China, but for the whole world. Mr. Xu said “ITER is the most significant stage in realizing the dream of creating secure, effective and clean fusion energy.”

At the Negotiations Meeting, delegates discussed a full range of legal, technical, administrative and managerial topics, including the form and the structure of the international organization, staffing, resources, and risk management, which will form the basis for the Agreement on implementing ITER and the operation of the International ITER Organization.

The Negotiators agreed that substantial progress was made on all topics, and delegations are optimistic that final decisions on the site of ITER and the cost-sharing arrangements will be in place before the end of 2003.

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