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The Council adopted today a decision approving the conclusion of an international agreement on implementation of the ITER fusion energy project.
The decision authorises the Commission to conclude an agreement between the EU's Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States on the establishment of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organisation for the joint implementation of the ITER project. It also approves the conclusion of an arrangement on provisional application of the agreement.
The purpose of the ITER organisation is to provide for and promote cooperation among the members of the ITER project, which aims to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy for peaceful purposes. The functions of the organisation include the construction, operation and exploitation of ITER facilities and the promotion of public understanding of fusion energy.
The decision was taken without discussion by the Competitiveness Council.
The agreement, with an initial duration of 35 years, will enter into force once ratified by ITER partners when the construction proper will start. The EU will contribute to 50% of construction costs.
The ITER experimental reactor and the headquarters of the organization will be situated in Cadarache (France).
A joint undertaking, which will be based in Barcelona (Spain), will manage the EU's financial contribution to the ITER organization.
See also: http://www.iter.org