The EU and its 6 partner countries have given a formal go ahead for the construction of the world’s biggest experimental nuclear fusion reactor, ITER. Environmental NGOs fear the mammoth project will swallow financing from renewables R&D.
The seven partners committed to the building of ITER, the EU, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States, signed the final ITER agreement on 24 May 2006, after years of planning, design, negotiations and some dispute over the reactor’s host country.
“This is a truly crucial moment […] for global scientific co-operation in general,” said Science and Research Commissioner Janez Poto?nik, highlighting the unprecedented scale of international co-operation on this research project.
He referred to ITER as a new model for large-scale global scientific and technical cooperation and said that “we are sending an important message about seeing the value in working together to address our common challenges”.