From: Associated Press
Published June 22, 2005 12:00 AM

Japan Forfeits Bid to Host International Nuclear Fusion Reactor

TOKYO — Japan has contacted the European Union to forfeit its bid to host a multibillion-dollar international nuclear fusion reactor, a Japanese newspaper reported Wednesday.


The US$13 billion (euro10.7 billion) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor will go to Cadarache in southern France, after officials in Tokyo conceded the rivalry to their EU counterparts on Tuesday, the national Mainichi newspaper reported.


In exchange for giving up hosting rights, Tokyo expects Japanese suppliers and scientists to win a large share of the project's jobs, the daily said, without citing sources.


The ITER plant aims to show that nuclear fusion presents a vast, safe source of energy that can wean the world off pollution-producing fossil fuels. Nuclear fusion produces no greenhouse gas emissions and only low levels of radioactive waste.


The start of the project has been delayed for months because the six parties have been split over where to build the plant. Tokyo was expected to formally announce its decision on June 28 at a meeting in Russia, according to media reports.


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Japan, the United States and South Korea wanted it at Rokkasho in northern Japan. Russia, China and the EU want it at Cadarache, in southern France.


Education Ministry officials in charge of Tokyo's negotiations were not immediately available early Wednesday.


Source: Associated Press


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