China had shown its commitment to developing clean energy through its strong support for an international alternative energy program, the head of the program's China office said Wednesday.
The program, known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor or ITER, aims to emulate the power of the sun to provide limitless clean energy, Luo Delong told Xinhua during a telephone interview.
"China's active participation in the international nuclear fusion project reflects the country's determination to promote the development of clean energy," Luo said.
"It is also in line with China's long-term energy strategy," Luo said.
In a bid to solve the energy shortage and maintain sustainable development, China is working to develop fossil energy and fission energy while vigorously seeking alternative energy sources, according to Luo.
Now it seemed ITER might be a reliable answer to the problem of energy in the long run, he said.
"I can give you an example: after ITER nuclear fusion, the deuterium extracted from one liter of sea water can produce as much energy as that of 300 liters of gasoline," and fusion energy had huge potential, "because it uses the inexhaustible sea water as material," he said.
Moreover, the ITER process won't produce greenhouse gases or cause any pollutants such as high-radiation uranium waste, which made it an ideal energy source for both environmental protection and security, Luo said.
China had devoted a lot of effort and funds to the project, he said.
Luo said China had made great efforts in helping establish the organization and the country would inject about 10 billion yuan (1.4 billion dollars) to the project, about 10 percent of its total cost.
China would also undertake nearly 10 percent of the project, producing various components and transporting them to Cadarache, southern France, where the ITER's reactor units would be constructed, he said.
On Wednesday, the ITER Council, the governing body of the ITER Organization, approved the baseline of overall schedule and costs for the project.
Representatives of the seven ITER members -- China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States, attended the meeting in Cadarache.
The council said in a statement the ITER project, with a designed capacity to produce 500 megawatts (MW) of fusion power, had fixed a goal to achieve the first plasma in November 2019.
The ITER project was proposed in 1985 and research assessment and design work for an experimental reactor were begun in 1988.
A related ITER Agreement was signed in Paris in November 2006 by ministers from the seven ITER members, officially launching the project.
According to the ITER Agreement, the ITER project will last 35 years and require a total investment of up to 10 billion euros.
It is the second largest international science and engineering project behind the International Space Station, and is also the biggest international science and technology cooperation in which China has taken part so far.