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CB17) has informed.
A group of experts considering competing bids by France and Spain to be the
sole EU candidate site for the International Thermonuclear Experimental
Reactor (ITER) project has concluded that ‘either site would be likely to
win the international site selection’.
The ITER Site Analysis Group report – approved by the group on 3rd
September – said that both France and Spain had made “excellent bids” for
Cadarache and Vandellos respectively.
The European Commission’s Competitiveness Council is now expected to use the
report to make a decision at its meeting on 23rd September – in line with
the Commission’s aim of identifying a single European site “as soon as
The group, chaired by the UK government’s chief scientific adviser Professor
David King, considered issues such as project environment, cost, host
commitments and the impact on nuclear fusion research in Europe, in addition
to “other non-technical matters that might affect the site selection”. The
group also said licensing should be considered as a separate issue.
The report concluded that there were “no significant differences” in terms
of site properties, industrial capabilities, university network, local
acceptance of ITER as a nuclear installation, or concerning licensing and
It added that: “Both countries have shown a long-term commitment to ITER at
local and central government level. We noted that the Spanish proposal would
maintain their national fusion programme. Each site has some advantages over
the other in different areas.”
In terms of the local availability of highly-skilled technical support, the
group “felt the strong technical support facilities available at Cadarache
provide an important risk-reducing advantage with a potential impact on cost
for that site, especially in the construction phase”. In addition, both
sites have “existing excellent facilities for international workers and
their families, and more would put into place for ITER”.
Regarding costs, the report said that, during the construction phase, the
“non-common area costs were likely to be in the range of 34 million to 274
million euros (EUR) less at Vandellos than at Cadarache”, and therefore “the
potential cost saving favours Vandellos”.
In conclusion, the group said: “Both sites are very strong contenders for
the international competition. The main differences lie between the
technical and financial advantages. The group believes that either site
would be likely to win the international site selection.”
ITER is a joint venture between the EU, Canada, Japan and Russia. The US
rejoined the project recently, and China also announced its participation .
South Korea has also expressed interest in the project . In addition to
France and Spain, the other potential host countries are Canada (Clarington)
and Japan (Rokkashura). The Commission has said that neither the US or China
will propose new sites.
Source: European Commission