On February 5 the EU and the Japanese government signed the “Broader Approach“ agreement. The cooperation aims to complement the ITER Project and to accelerate the realisation of fusion energy as a clean and sustainable energy source, by carrying out R&D and developing some advanced technologies for a future demonstration fusion power reactor (DEMO). The agreement represents some 340 million Euro of European investment.

Together with the European Atomic Energy Community, known by its initials EURATOM, Japan will work on three projects over the next 10 years contributing to the development of nuclear power. The first project includes the development of Engineering Validation and Engineering Design Activities for the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF/EVEDA). The Deputy Director of the Agence ITER France and former leader of the European ITER Site Studies, Pascal Garin, has been nominated Leader of the IFMIF/EVEDA project.

The second project aims at building the International Fusion Energy Research Centre (IFERC). IFERC will focus on activities related to DEMO, the fusion device foreseen after ITER. These two projects will be established in Rokkasho.

Finally, the Japanese JT-60 tokamak will be upgraded to an advanced superconducting tokamak JT-60 SA, and be exploited under the framework of this agreement as a “satellite“ facility to ITER. This project will be carried out in Naka, in the prefecture of Ibaraki near Tokyo.

“Today‘s signature of the Broader Approach Agreement marks not only the successful end of our complex negotiations, but also the beginning of an ever-closer cooperation between the fusion communities of Japan and Europe to face the many challenges which we can best overcome when acting together“, Hugh Richardson, Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Commission to Japan, said. „The three projects that are to be undertaken under the Broader Approach Agreement carry great importance for the early realisation of fusion energy and will complement the global efforts on realising ITER.“