From the 27th of June to the 1st of July, the Laboratorio Nacional de Fusión (Asociación EURATOM-CIEMAT para Fusión) and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili hosted the “32nd European Physical Society Conference on Plasma Physics and 8th International Workshop on Fast Ignition of Fusion Targets” in Tarragona, Spain. The meeting took place in Tarragona, an old Roman town by the Mediterranean Sea in the north-eastern region of Catalonia in Spain, which is a world heritage town due to its architectural/historical treasures. The conference venue, which is built in the place of an old quarry, was ideal to hold such a meeting with a spectacular main auditorium (where plenary sessions were held) and various smaller auditoriums and meeting rooms for parallel sessions and a spacious hall for the poster sessions.

This conference is the main annual meeting for fusion physics research in Europe and always attracts significant non-European participation. This year, 751 delegates attended the meeting, most of them coming from the six ITER partners: EU (65%), USA (12%), Japan (9%), Russian Federation (8%), Korea (2%) and China (2%)

The Conference proceedings were opened by a welcome speech of Dr. Carlos Alejaldre (former Head of the Asociación EURATOM-CIEMAT para Fusión) Director General of Technological Policy of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Education. In his speech, Dr. Alejaldre reviewed the research planning and policies of the Spanish Government with emphasis on fusion research and, in particular, ITER. This was followed by the award ceremony of the Hannes Alfvén prize for 2005 and the first plenary session of the conference.

The highlight of the conference was the signature of the ITER site agreement in Moscow on the 28th of June, which was celebrated in an extraordinary evening session. In this session, there were interventions by Dr. Jacquinot (former Head of the Association EURATOMCEA), Dr. S. Clement (DG-RTD-Fusion EU Commission) and Dr. L. Rodríguez (CIEMAT, member of the European ITER Site Study Group), where both the signed site-agreement and the technical/socio-economic characteristics of the ITER Cadarache site were presented.

The 2005 Hannes Alfvén prize winners were: Prof. M. G. Haines, Dr. T.W.L. Sanford and Ac. V.P. Smirnov. The EPS Plasma Physics Division acknowledges with this prize their contributions to the development of the wire-array Z-pinch as X-ray source for inertial confinement fusion.

Finally, the conference was adjourned with the presentation of the venue for the 33rd EPS Conference on Plasma Physics in 2006, which will be held in Rome, June 19 – 23, and will be hosted by the Associazione EURATOM-ENEA sulla Fusione.