"France is fully committed to ITER"
Representing France as Host to the ITER Project was French Minister of Higher Education and Research, Geneviève Fioraso. ''ITER, at the same time as it addresses important societal concerns and nurtures major scientific ambition, is also working on difficult technological challenges that hold promise for the future.''
Geneviève Fioraso, the French Minister of Higher Education and Research, speaks of ITER with passion. In interviews with the media or in addressing her ministerial colleagues, her words are strong and her tone enthusiastic.
"The huge, amazing amount of work" that is going into ITER impressed her no less last Friday than it did on her first visit to ITER on 17 January 2013, when she came to Saint Paul-lez-Durance to inaugurate the ITER Headquarters building alongside European Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger.
She sees ITER for what it is today: "A unique and outstanding project, the broadest international cooperation for research ever implemented." But she also sees beyond, as she stated in an interview to French public TV France 3, asserting that ITER and fusion are "the solution to what I consider the largest challenge of this century—providing energy that is environmentally responsible, that does not generate carbon dioxide like the fossil fuels we are tapping today."
''France doesn't have many international collaborations of this nature—in fact [ITER] is the only scientific, technological, economical project of this scale. We should be proud that this project is taking place in France.''
The minister also reaffirmed that France, as Host Country, is "fully committed to ITER" and she formally announced to her ministerial colleagues that "France [had] achieved all of its commitments within budget and schedule."
Her last words, as she stepped into her car to leave ITER Headquarters, were: "You can be absolutely confident in the support of the French government."
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