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ITER sweeteners tabled today by Europe, hoping to entice Japan

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ITER sweeteners tabled today by Europe, hoping to entice Japan

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Dangling a one-billion euro consolation package in front of the Japanese, EU ministers are supporting a proposal to offer a privileged partnership to Japan in return for an agreement to build the world’s first nuclear fusion reactor, ITER, in Cadarache, France.

EU industry ministers at a meeting today will give the European Commission a mandate to continue negotiations, to persuade the rival to give up its bid to host the experimental plant at a remote fishing village in the north of Japan. Prefering a six-way accord — among the EU, Japan, China, Russia, the U.S. and South Korea — Europe is ready to go ahead with the ten-billion euro project with fewer partners in case of a ‘no’ from Tokyo. Fusion sticks atoms together; the aim is to produce low pollution energy. Nuclear energy today is made through fission — the dividing of atoms.