Fusion site expected to go to France

June 27, 2005

International bickering over the site of a $12 billion international nuclear fusion research center is expected to end with France winning as host country.

The six backers of the project known as Iter, will meet in Moscow Tuesday to formalize the home for the center, where up to 10,000 jobs could be created, the Financial Times reported.

The newspaper said a deal is expected where Cadarache, in southern France, will be the site of the center. In return, a Japanese national would probably head the research, and a sizeable portion of the construction work would go to Japanese companies.

The world's main scientific and industrial powers are divided, with the United States and South Korea backing Japan, while Russia and China support the European Union's bid for France.

The EU is funding half the project while the other five backers are each paying 10 percent of the costs.

The project would be the first large-scale demonstration on earth of nuclear fusion, the reaction that powers the sun. It is due to start operating in 2014 and run for about 20 years.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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