An international agreement on the implementation of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) fusion energy project - in which India is a member along with five other nations and the EU - has been approved by the Council of the European Union.
The decision authorises the European Commission, the EU's executive, to conclude an agreement between the EU's Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the five other ITER participants - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the US - on the establishment of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organisation for the joint implementation of the project.
The Council of the EU represents the governments of the 25 member states of the European Union. India signed the official ITER project agreement along with five other participants in Brussels in May 2005.
"This signifies the start of a major international effort towards developing an energy technology which provides virtually limitless energy for supporting global development," Anil Kakodkar, secretary of India's Department of Atomic Energy and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said after signing the agreement on behalf of the country.
The ITER project is expected to produce nuclear fusion energy in conditions that will demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion as an energy source.
The project is expected to become a commercially viable reality in 2040 at the earliest.
India was the last member to join the project following the establishment of a joint EU-India energy panel set up to cooperate and address issues of energy security and alternative energy resources.