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Canada Withdraws from ITER Negotiations

January 9, 2004

According to a posting on the ITER web site (http://www.iter.org), on December 23rd Canada announced its withdrawal from the ITER negotiations and the ITER Transitional Arrangements. Writing to the heads of the negotiating delegations, Dr. P. Busquin (for Euratom), Mr. X. Guanhua (China), Mr. T.Kawamura (Japan), Minister H-K. Park (Korea), Mr. A. Rumyantsev (Russian Federation), and Mr. S. Abraham (USA), the Hon. R. J. Efford (PC, MP) of Canada stated:

"I am writing to advise you of the decision by the Government of Canada to withdraw from the ITER negotiations. As you know, Canada participated in the design phase of the project and has been a party to the subsequent international negotiations. Iter Canada, a private-sector consortium, developed an offer (the Iter Canada Plan to Host ITER) to locate the project at Clarington, Ontario. Based on the excellent attributes of the Clarington site, which include major technical and cost advantages, the offer was presented by Canada to the international Parties at the June 2001 ITER meeting in Moscow. In June 2002, the European Union presented the French site at Cadarache and the Spanish site at Vandellos while Japan tabled its site at Rokkasho-mura. In light of the competitive offers submitted, including significant government financial backing, Canada indicated in December 2002 that it would review the ITER Canada Plan to Host and consider whether to table a revised offer.

"Further to discussions conducted with the Government of Ontario and Iter Canada, a decision has been made that Canada will not table a revised offer to host the project, nor participate as non-host. Given present priorities and other demands, Canada is not in a position to table a competitive package that would lead to Canada becoming the host to the ITER project. It has been a difficult decision to reach, and it is with regret that Canada is withdrawing from the ongoing negotiations. Canada is also notifying the International Atomic Energy Agency that Canada will be withdrawing from the ITER Transitional Arrangements.

"I understand that the international negotiation process is reaching the final stage. I would like to send my strong encouragement and best wishes to you and the other parties for a successful implementation of the ITER project."