EU 'surprise' at French comments on reactor deal

6th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, May 6 (AFP) - The European Union executive commission is "surprised" by a French government announcement that Japanese and EU officials have struck a deal mapping out future cooperation over a ground-breaking nuclear reactor, a spokesman said Friday.

BRUSSELS, May 6 (AFP) - The European Union executive commission is "surprised" by a French government announcement that Japanese and EU officials have struck a deal mapping out future cooperation over a ground-breaking nuclear reactor, a spokesman said Friday.  

France's deputy research minister, Francois d'Aubert, said Thursday in a statement that a technical agreement was reached at a meeting in Geneva which could lead Japan to drop its bid to host the revolutionary reactor.  

He also said that EU Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik would hold a news conference on Friday in Brussels to unveil the deal.  

Voicing "surprise" about the announcement, European Commission spokesman Rupert Krietemeyers said Friday: "There's no press conference by Potocnik, who is not even in Brussels".  

The commission's agenda has the commissioner scheduled to be in Slovenia on Friday for a forum with young researchers.  

The European Union has been campaigning for years to have the ITER project (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) built at Cadaraches in the southeast of France rather than arch-rival Japan.  

The hugely ambitious multi-billion-dollar plant is designed to emulate the power of the sun in using nuclear fusion to create what its backers say could become an inexhaustible source of energy.  

Recent remarks by President Jacques Chirac claiming the project will go to France have stirred up a fuss in Tokyo, where officials said Friday that Japan had not given up its bid to host the pioneering nuclear reactor.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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