International consortium has agreed to build an experimental nuclear fusion reactor in France

An international consortium has signed a formal deal to build the world’s first experimental nuclear fusion reactor.

The project, which will be based in France, has been agreed by governments from the EU, US, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and China. The multibillion-euro project, known as Iter, will aim to produce energy from nuclear reactions similar to those that power the sun.

If the project is successful, the countries will build a prototype power plant before rolling out the technology worldwide. Officials claim the technology, which could provide clean, limitless power, could be producing electricity for the grid within 20 years.

The project will be based in Cadarche, outside Marseille. The area is currently the site for Tore-Supra, one of the existing European centres for fusion research. The EU, as the host region, will pay 50% of the construction costs.