Posted on: 4th December 2013

Last month European Fusion researchers received good news from Brussels. After months of negotiations between the European Parliament and the European Commission the research and innovation budget was agreed on.

EFDA and JET Leader, Francesco Romanelli, was pleased with the support being shown to the present European fusion programme “We have been working hard to shape the programme to the requirements of Horizon 2020. Despite some cuts to the proposed budget in the EFDA Roadmap to the realisation of fusion energy  the approval of the EU fusion budget has marked a crucial milestone. We can now build our activities in Horizon 2020 on solid ground.”

picture of a JET/ITER meeting at the ITER site

ITER hinges on JET. Discussing nuclear safety in the ITER Headquarter (left to right): Carlos Alejaldre, (Safety, Quality & Security, ITER), Joelle Elbez-Uzan, (Nuclear Safety, Licensing & Environmental Protection Division, ITER), Paola Batistoni (Neutron & Gamma Section, JET); Pierre Cortes (ITER); Sandrine Rosanvallon (ITER); Lorne Horton (JET Department), Damian Brennan (Active Operations, JET); Lina Rodrigo Rodriguez (ITER); and Christophe Seropian (ITER). (credit: ITER Organization)

Of great importance for European Fusion Laboratories in general and for the Joint European Torus, JET, in particular was the news that, within the research budget, funds were sufficient for a vibrant programme of activities, including the strong support of JET to ITER.

And if a demonstration of the crucial importance of JET was needed, it came, also last week, from the ITER Council. They announced that ITER would start with the same inner wall material as in JET. The decision will save ITER several hundred million Euros and was a direct consequence of successful experiments with the ITER-like wall in JET in recent years.

Lorne Horton, Head of the JET Department in EFDA commented: ‘The ITER Organization is continuously requesting support, knowing that the experiment has unique capabilities and a highly trained and experienced staff at their disposal. We want ITER to deliver what it is being built for.’

Background information

EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 sets the budget for the next period from 2014 to 2020. EURATOM – under which fusion and fission research is covered – is part of Horizon 2020. Due to a different legal base EURATOM’s budget is fixed two years less; from 2014-2018. The yearly fusion budget amounts in that period to 145.6 Million Euro/year.