France has won the right to host an experimental nuclear fusion reactor that proponents say could provide an unlimited source of cheap, clean energy.
The ten billion euro ITER project, is being supported by the EU, Russia, China, the US, Japan and South Korea.
The site is at Cadarache in southern France, a well known nuclear research facility.
The reactor would generate energy like the sun, by fusing atoms, rather than splitting them as in existing nuclear power stations.
Greenpeace has criticised the project which it says means spending too much money on an unproven technology rather than developing true green solutions.
EU research commissioner Janez Potocnik is more positive: “We are all searching for an answer to a proper energy mix of the future. We want to get a sustainable source. We want to get something which would be environmentally friendly; fusion is one of the possibilities,” he said
The ITER site will aim to develop the technology to safely heat the atoms to 100 million degrees Celsius .
Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of the year.