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A landmark decree authorizes ITER construction

''This is indeed a great day for ITER!'' (Click to view larger version...)
''This is indeed a great day for ITER!''
Step by step, over the past two and a half years, we've been progressing toward an essential milestone in the history of our project. This milestone has now been achieved: two days ago, on Saturday 10 November, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault signed the official decree that authorizes the ITER Organization to create the Installation nucléaire de base (INB) ITER.

This long-awaited document is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work, both on our side and on that of the French authorities. For the past 30 months, our project has been scrutinized by different groups and committees, submitted to the analysis of several boards of experts, and also to the public's judgment. Every nut and bolt of the ITER machine, as well as its operational objectives, have has been closely examined.

These procedures were no mere formalities ... they were long, complex and demanding.

They were also indispensable, both from a regulatory point of view and because of the responsibility that is ours: as ITER is the first fusion device that qualifies as a nuclear installation, we had to explore largely uncharted territory.

This landmark decree comes as just reward for our rigorous consideration of safety and environmental issues. It is a reward for the ITER Safety, Quality & Security Department (and, more specifically, to its Licensing Cell); a reward for the Department for the ITER Project; but it is also a reward for each and every one of us. Whether directly involved or not, we all contributed to this success and I want to thank you all, whatever your position or responsibility within the ITER Organization.

We have worked constructively with the French authorities and will continue to do so throughout the duration of ITER's lifetime. As demonstrated throughout the past 30 months, ours is an uncompromising but trusting relationship, one that is based on a strong engagement from ITER.

We never doubted the validity of our project. ITER safety has now been confirmed by a large body of outside, independent experts. This is indeed a great day for ITER.

Read the Press Release in English or in French.

return to Newsline #245