Canada shows its hand in ITER bid
Canada has formally submitted its application to host the ITER international fusion test reactor. The move was made by the Canadian ambassador to Russia, Rod Irwin, in Moscow on 19 June in the presence of the representatives of partners in ITER. The ITER (international thermonuclear experimental reactor) project is planning to bring together the reactor from the fusion programmes of Europe (with Canada), Japan and Russia. The cost of the installation is estimated at 3.7 billion euro and Canada has made its bid on the basis that its proposed Clarington site provides the best base, available workforce and raw materials environment for the reactor's operations. It also has conducted a public opinion poll in the area on the issue (which was favourable) and Canada's existing legislation allows for fusion activities without the need for amendments. 'Canada will become a world centre of excellence for research and development in the high tech energy field. ITER will be the largest 'brain gain' in Canadian project history,' said the chairman of the Canadian bid, Dr Peter Barnard. The Canadian bid to host the site is the first and discussions about its feasibility will take place with ITER partners. Following the end of the ITER planning stage, further bids are possible from both France and Japan. The Canadian bid has opted for the Clarington bid in preference to the other possible location of Bruce. Clarington is nearer to Toronto (60km), has shipping links via Lake Huron and most importantly has stores of the vital component of tritium. The Canadian bid has been put together by the non-profit organisation ITER Canada, which is draws on members of industry, academia and government.