MOSCOW, June 28 (RIA Novosti) - The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project partners plan to draft an international agreement on the reactor's construction by the end of this year, a Russian senior official said Tuesday. "This agreement will outline the financial conditions of the project. The construction of the reactor will start as soon as the agreement is signed," said Alexander Rumyantsev, head of the Federal Atomic Energy Agency.
The ITER will be built near Cadarche in southern France, project participants said in a joint declaration after their meeting here Tuesday.
The project is worth 10� million or about $12.1 million.
Japan will maintain technical backing rights to the project, Rumyantsev said.
French President Jacques Chirac hailed the choice of France.
"This is a great success for France, Europe and all the ITER partners," the Elysees Palace press service quoted him as saying.
Chira said the declaration "takes into account the interests of all partners."
He thanked representatives from the EU, Russia and China for backing Cadarche's candidacy.