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France and ITER Organization sign Headquarters Agreement

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The Headquarters Agreement establishing the legal status of the ITER Organization in France was signed on 7 November 2007 by Valérie Pécresse, Minister for Higher Education and Research on behalf of the French government, and Kaname Ikeda, Director General Nominee of the ITER Organization. This Agreement sets out the terms of cooperation between the new International Organization and the French authorities, in particular compliance with French regulations related to public safety and security, environmental protection, nuclear safety and radiological protection.

Kaname Ikeda, welcoming the Minister to the ITER construction site prior to the official signing ceremony, spoke of his appreciation of the commitment of the host country, France, to the project: "So many people throughout the world are represented here today, all with just one goal: to build ITER. This important milestone in the construction of ITER would not have been possible without the commitment and vigilant support from the French Government and the local authorities. "

The Minister, who was accompanied by Bernard Bigot, the French High Commissioner for Atomic Energy and national coordinator for the ITER project, responded that her presence at the ITER site in Cadarache had a very special meaning. The reason for standing together that morning was "much more than a simple Headquarters Agreement", Valérie Pécresse said. "This is indeed a promise of open arms. This is a declaration of welcome that we are signing this morning, expressing the true joy and immense pride France is feeling at the idea of welcoming on its territory what is without a doubt, one of the most ambitious projects that mankind has ever conceived, if not the most ambitious of all. With ITER we are providing the world with an example, that of people leaving behind their eternal rivalries and old quarrels which have so affected us, so as to build our future together in agreement and cooperation."

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