ITER explained to its neighbours
The annual public meeting organized by the CLI in the neighbouring town of Manosque drew an audience of approximately 80.
Once a year, ITER and its neighbours meet in one of the town or neighbouring villages. The meeting is organized by the Commission locale d'information (CLI), an official citizen's watchdog group composed of representatives from local governments, environmental groups, trade unions, businesses and health professionals.
Although the CLI is in constant interaction with ITER through "technical groups" on nuclear safety, environment or communication, the annual public meeting offers a unique opportunity to discuss a broad range of issues, from employment on the construction site to the place of fusion in the "energy transition" that France wishes to implement.
On 23 November, the public meeting was held in Manosque, the closest town (pop. 22,000) to the ITER site, where some 40 percent of the ITER staff has chosen to reside.
The public and ITER have come a long way since the decision to site the project in Provence was taken in June 2005. What was then mysterious is now familiar, but concerns remain.
The meeting last week, attended by approximately 80 people, was an occasion to underline the economic impact of the project on the local communities and businesses, explain the benign impact of a fusion installation on the environment and reaffirm the importance of offering a new option in the global quest for clean energy.
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