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21 November 2012

French government gives ITER construction the official go-ahead

Works in progress at the ITER Tokamak Assembly Hall, October 2012

On Saturday 10 November, France’s Prime Minster Jean-Marc Ayrault signed the official decree authorising ITER International Organization (ITER IO) to proceed with ITER’s nuclear installation. 
The go-ahead marks an important milestone in the roadmap of the biggest international research project in the field of energy because it validates the enormous amount of work undertaken by ITER IO during the last years to guarantee compliance with strict safety, quality and security standards. In the course of this process, F4E and EFDA contributed by means of different studies addressing various aspects of safety.
This is the result of a long and complex chain of interactions with local populations, policy makers, independent experts and the French Nuclear Safety Authority. ITER is the first fusion facility that qualifies as a nuclear installation.
And while policy makers are evaluating different energy alternatives and try to tame the size of the carbon footprint emitted by their countries, this positive development can also be read as the expectation that one day fusion energy can play a role in Europe’s sustainable energy mix.

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