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France chosen for thermonuclear site

Published on 26/11/2003

BRUSSELS, Nov 26 (AFP) - EU research ministers on Wednesday chose France as the bloc's candidate to host an ambitious project to replicate the Sun's nuclear fusion, beating a Spanish bid, diplomats said.

The southern French town of Cadarache in southern France had been bidding against Vandellos in Spain to host the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)

Canada and Japan are also pitching for the EUR 4.5-billion project, which will seek to replicate the kind of nuclear fusion seen in the Sun to deliver clean energy from hydrogen.

Project partners, which include the EU, Japan, the United States, Canada, China, Russia and South Korea, are expected to announce their chosen site for the reactor at a Washington meeting next month.

Spain launched a last-minute drive to win the candidacy, with Foreign Minister Ana Palacio flying to Rome this week to meet Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose country currently holds the EU’s presidency.

Madrid also announced that it was doubling its contribution to the Iter energy project to EUR 900 million (USD 1.07 million).


                                                                       Subject: French news