Japan has denied making a decision on conceding the ITER nuclear reactor project to France. The final word from Tokyo is expected by this summer.
Japan, backed by the US and South Korea in its bid to host the International Thermonuclear Reactor (ITER), is now reportedly leaning towards conceding the 4.6 billion euro project to France. However, reacting to a report by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, which said that “it is now highly likely that the reactor will be built in Cadarache, France”, a Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that “we have not made any sort of policy decision on this issue” yet.
Plans for ITER have been stalled for months now as a competing bid has been tabled by France with Chinese and Russian backing.
The EU’s plan has been to launch the ITER project in France with or without the support of Tokyo. The EU has also offered Japan a bigger role in the project. In March 2005, Research Commissioner Janez Poto?nik gave Tokyo until late June 2005 to accept the offer.
ITER has been designed to emulate the sun’s nuclear fusion and generate clean energy through the fusion of light atoms such as hydrogen.