Ten years ago, on 28 June 2005, a home was found for ITER. In Moscow, where ministerial-level representatives of the ITER Members had convened, a consensus had at last been reached: the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor planned by China, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States (India would join six months later) would be located in Cadarache, a locality in the village of Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, some 75 kilometres north of Marseille, France.
Janez Potočnik, the European Commissioner for Science, and Noriaki Nakayama, the Japanese Minister of Science and Technology. No one had ''won,'' no one had ''lost.'' The ITER Members had demonstrated their capacity to overcome difficult odds and to imagine a solution that was acceptable to all
Four days before Christmas, their ministerial representatives met in Reston, Virginia, a suburb of the US federal capital. The meeting was heralded as decisive; expectant TV crews camped outside the gates of the site in France, media representatives were in constant contact by telephone with the different delegations ... but the Reston negotiations ended in gridlock.
On 30 June, two days after the decision, French President Jacques Chirac was in Cadarache to celebrate the momentous event. From left to right, first row: Alain Bugat, Administrator-General of the French Atomic Energy Authoriy (CEA); Michel Chatelier head of the Fusion Research Department at CEA-Cadarache (DRFC); President Chirac; Pascale Amenc-Antoni, director of CEA-Cadarache. Second row: Christian Frémont, regional préfet; Jean-Louis Bianco, president of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence département; Bernard Bigot, High Commissionner for Atomic Energy and Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor of Marseille and vice-president of the French Senate.