Inauguration of ITER Headquarters
Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger travelled to Cadarache (France) on 17 January 2013 for the inauguration of the new headquarters building with French Minister for Higher Education and Research Geneviève Fioraso. Besides visiting the building and having bilateral meetings with Director-General Motojima and Minister Fioraso, Oettinger addressed elected officials and government representatives, staff from the ITER Organization, the European Domestic Agency Fusion for Energy and Agence ITER France.
Oettinger stated: “At this time when the urgency to transform our energy system has been overshadowed by the financial crisis it is important that we keep steadfast in funding projects like ITER. This project is at the forefront of energy technology research in the world, giving a long term view towards the decarbonisation of our energy supply. ITER, one of the world’s biggest scientific collaborations, has a key role to play in establishing fusion as a sustainable energy source. Moreover, it benefits the economy of the countries, especially through the high tech SMEs sector. With ITER being located on EU territory we play a key role in global energy technology research now and in the future.“
ITER—designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power—will be the world's largest experimental fusion facility. Fusion is the process which powers the sun and the stars: when light atomic nuclei fuse together to form heavier ones, a large amount of energy is released. Fusion research is aimed at developing a safe, abundant and environmentally responsible energy source. ITER is also a first-of-a-kind global collaboration. Europe will contribute almost half of the costs of its construction, while the other six Members to this joint international venture (China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the USA), will contribute equally to the rest.