Council for Science and Technology Policy on Wednesday formally selected the village of Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, as the candidate site for an international experimental nuclear reactor.

During an afternoon meeting at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, council members deferred to an agreement between Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who also heads the council, and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, who heads an association of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers promoting nuclear-fusion energy, that Japan should select Rokkasho.

Tokyo will put forward its candidate site at an intergovernmental meeting to be held Tuesday in France.

The international thermonuclear experimental reactor is being jointly developed by Japan, Europe, Russia and Canada. It is designed to generate electricity through nuclear fusion in a manner similar to the sun’s creation of energy, unlike the fission process in conventional reactors.

The European Union is expected to recommend both France and Spain as possible reactor locations during the upcoming intergovernmental talks.

The Japanese government originally intended to recommend two municipalities as candidate sites but decided to pick one of them after the LDP association pressed it to do so.

ITER, designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy for peaceful purposes, will be the first fusion device to produce thermal energy at the same level as an electricity-producing power station.

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