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Europe

France Threatens To Build Reactor without U.S.

A groundbreaking international research project is in jeopardy after French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin threatened that Europe could complete the project without U.S. help.

A groundbreaking international research project is in jeopardy after French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin threatened that Europe could complete the project without American help. Raffarin said Monday that Europe could go it alone and build the world’s first nuclear fusion power station, despite Europe being engaged in the 19-year-old international cooperation. "We have to have ITER [the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor], even if we do it ourselves," Raffarin said. Raffarin’s comments come as France appears to be losing the battle to host the plant, with Washington recently announcing its support for Japan’s bid. His announcement could further complicate U.S.-French relations, which soured during the run up to the war in Iraq. It is hoped the ITER project will culminate with the creation of a nuclear fusion power plant, which will produce energy in the same way as the Sun and will be cleaner and more cost effective than fission power. Currently, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Russia and the U.S. are partners in the €9 billion project. ( EUobserver.com)