Strong links to the EU and world wide tokamak programmes already existed on ASDEX Upgrade (Garching, Germany), but the present initiative greatly improves both the rights and the responsibilities of the collaborating EU Associations. The experimental programme is now decided by the ASDEX Upgrade Programme Committee, which consists at present of 8 members of IPP and 9 members from the collaborating Associations. The Task Force leadership is also open to the Associations. For the period 2003-2004, one of the five task forces (MHD stability) is actually led by an associate representative, Duarte Borba from IST Lisbon. In addition, the meetings in which the programme is discussed are now open to remote access via a videoconferencing system. The ASDEX Upgrade intranet has also been substantially revised to give all the necessary information on planning, execution and analysis of the ASDEX Upgrade experiments. This initiative also includes access to the machine experimental data via the standardised MDSplus system also used on TCV, RFX, JET and other devices. First experiments under this structure have already shown the benefit of close collaboration and the first results in the field of transient transport, radio frequency heating and sawtooth tailoring have been obtained in cooperation with the Istituto Fisica Plasma-Milano (Italy), the Association Euratom-CEA Cadarache (France) and the Trilateral Euregio Cluster (TEC), producing a range of exciting findings. As a result, at the 2002 EPS conference in Montreux, 18 out of 32 ASDEX Upgrade papers had contributors from the Associations, with 10 having an external first author.

In order to further progress in the integration of the fusion programme, in view of the forthcoming ITER activities, the Association Euratom-IPP Garching (Germany) has recently announced the opening up of the ASDEXUpgrade experimental programme to the EU Associations.

Euregional cooperation of Euratom Associations: IPP J├╝lich (Germany), Ecole Royale Militaire Brussels (Belgium), FOM Institute for Plasmaphysics Rijnhuizen (Netherlands).

For more information see: