Although agreement with Japan is still to be reached, EU ministers are confident that the world’s first nuclear fusion reactor will be built in Europe, in France.
EU industry ministers said, on 18 April 2005, that ITER will be built in Europe. No agreement with project partner Japan, which also wants to host the plant, has been reached yet, but Research Commissioner Janez Poto?nik says that the views of both parties are converging.
The EU, South Korea, China, the United States, Japan and Russia are participating in the negotiations for ITER, but have not been able to agree on the host site of the plant. To break the deadlock, in which China and Russia support France as host and the United States and South Korea back Japan, the EU made a priviledged partnership offer to Japan in November 2004.
Instead of hosting the reactor, the EU is offering Japan a bigger role in building ITER, managing the project and receiving research contracts from it. In March 2005, Poto?nik gave Japan until the end of June 2005 to accept the offer.