India to build experimental nuclear-fusion reactor

India will be allowed to participate in a multinational project to build an experimental nuclear-fusion reactor, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said. Scientists hope the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor being built in France will produce a clean, safe and endless energy resource and help phase out polluting fossil fuels.

The project's partners, including the U.S. and the European Union, agreed to let India join the venture at their meeting in Jeju, South Korea, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement late Tuesday.

India's plans to participate got a boost earlier this year when U.S. President George W. Bush proposed sharing civilian nuclear technology with New Delhi.

"U.S support was instrumental in ensuring the final agreement (in Jeju)," the statement said, adding the decision "represents the first tangible and concrete step toward greater cooperation between the US and India in the nuclear field."

Several European nations have also been keen on India's participation in the 10 billion euro (US$12 billion) project. The other participants in the venture are Japan, China, Russia and South Korea, reports the AP. I.L.

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