Posted on: 14th February 2011

Donato is the architect of the European fusion programme. He has worked for fusion in a tireless way for several decades – travelling between Brussels and fusion centres world-wide.

Paul Rebut, in 1986 on the occasion of Donato Palumbo’s retirement on which he was given the title “Honorary Director-General of the European Commission

On Sunday 8 February, Prof Donato Palumbo passed away. The theoretical physicist was the first director and the founder of the European fusion programme. When research activities under the Euratom Treaty were launched, he had the far-sighted intuition that the development of fusion would require the close association of all European laboratories working in the field.

Moreover, JET in particular owes the Donato Palumbo the greatest gratitude. He initiated the idea to build a large tokamak for the benefit of the European fusion community. Pursuing this path he became member of the JET supervisory board. In the following years until his retirement in 1986 he joined nearly every JET-related committee or board and witnessed day-one of the first plasma in JET.