China plays key role in ITER's large-scale int'l clean energy project: ITER

15:22, July 16, 2010      

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China's active participation in an clean energy project of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Organization (ITER) is vital to the success of the project, said the chief of the organization on Thursday.

"Like other big powers in the world, China, with full realization of the significance of clean energy, actively takes part in this ITER project, which I think is key to the success of the project," ITER Organization Director-General Kaname Ikeda told Xinhua.

The ITER project was proposed in 1985 and research assessment and design work for an experimental reator were begun in 1988. A related ITER Agreement was officailly signed in Paris in November 2006 by ministers from the seven ITER Members, including China, comprehensively launching the grand project of new energy development.

Ikeda said that with the gradual depletion of fossil energy, shortage of nuclear materials and high risk of environment pollution by nuclear energy, fusion energy has huge potential and great advantages, because it uses the inexhaustible sea water as material and is a very clean energy that does not cause pollution problems as a nuclear power plant does.

Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, paid a special visit to ITER on July 13, which showed China's firm commitment to the development of clean energy, Ikeda said.

The ITER project aims to carve out a new way to produce clean energy on a large scale and it is the first time in history that so many countries make concerted efforts for the same goal, said Ikeda.

It is an arduous challenge that requires genuine international cooperation because it is hugely complex and needs massive investment which no single country can afford alone, he added.

According to the ITER Agreement, the ITER project will last 35 years and require a total investment of up to 10 billion euros. It is the largest international science and engineering project second only to the International Space Station, and is also the biggest international science and technology cooperation in which China has taken part so far.



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