Posted on: 29th July 2013

July 1, 2013 marked the day the European Union welcomed its newest member, Croatia. Although it hasn’t adopted the euro, and is still working towards opening its borders to the Schengen agreement, Croatia has been quick to join the Euratom treaty, and thereby to become the 29th country involved in the European Fusion Development Agreement.

“There are nine Croatian research groups working in fusion-related areas,” says Croatia’s fusion research coordinator, Dr Tonči Tadić from the Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb. Since February, Dr Tadić has been participating in both the EFDA steering committee and the Consultative Committee to Euratom on Fusion as an observer, and has been authorised by his government to establish a Croation Fusion Association. The Ruđer Bošković Institute is the seat of this association – The Croatian Fusion Research Unit, or CRU – and has already hosted a “Regional Euratom Info-day” for all nine research groups and representatives from Euratom.

During a restructure of EFDA, Croatia is contributing to Europe’s fusion research as an external research unit of CCFE. Dr Tadić visited JET in early July with the Director General of his institute, Dr Tome Antičić, to draft the agreement with CCFE. They also took the opportunity explore research possibilities: “We were discussing better ways for mutual collaboration.”

“We have been deeply touched by the friendliness shown to us during our visit. It was very successful!” says Dr Tadić.

Head of EFDA’s JET Department Dr Lorne Horton is also positive about the new addition. “We have always benefitted when new countries joined the EFDA work program;” Initial indications suggest that the Croatian groups’ strengths will be in the fusion technology area, and Dr Horton is keeping an open mind while the new relationship is explored. “We sometimes find [areas of collaboration] that are surprises. We’re looking forward to having them!”