Tuesday, April 12, 2005

More On ITER

More news, if you can call it that, about the ITER impasse: a UPI piece indicating the French are willing to go it alone (again), and this time they mean it: they have set a decision deadline for July. "European Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik has emphasized that the EU plans to start constructing the reactor in Cadarache, France and will do so without an international agreement."

U.S. reaction has been unfavorable:

Dr. Ray Orbach, Director of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, told a public meeting of his Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee that, in a meeting earlier in the week, he told a high level European Union official that the US viewed "unfavorably" reports that the EU was considering making a unilateral decision to proceed with construction of ITER in France. Orbach said he told the official that if the EU were to proceed without an agreement on site from the other 5 ITER partners (Japan, Russia, China, Korea and the US) the US would consider that the EU had withdrawn from the ITER collaboration, reducing it from a 6-member to a 5 member partnership. He said the US position remains that the EU and Japan must resolve the site issue in 2-party negotiations and bring that resolution to the other 4 partners.

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