Launch of Enhancements for a possible use of JET beyond 2006 and issue of the Commission’s proposal for FP7

At its 27th meeting, held in Cascais, Portugal, on 4 April 2005, the EFDA Steering Committee approved the launch of three projects for upgrading JET, as part of a proposed “JET programme in support of ITER”. This programme had received very positive support from the EFDA Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) on 14 December 2004. The three projects are the “ITER-like wall”, the “Neutral Beam Enhancement” and the “High Frequency Pellet Injector”. The engineering design has started and the first calls for tender are being made. The implementation of the ITERlike wall and Neutral Beam Enhancement are foreseen for a shutdown in 2008 for exploitation in 2009 and 2010. In addition, proposals for diagnostics and plasma control are in preparation for presentation at EFDA Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) in June 2005.

The operation of JET beyond 2006, as part of the ITER Accompanying Programme, remains subject to the approval of appropriate funding for the next Framework Programme (FP7). The Commission’s proposals for FP7 published on 6 April 2006 contain promising news in this respect, including a substantial increase of the fusion funding under Euratom. Dr Pablo Fernandez Ruiz, Director in charge of energy research in the Commission, commented that

the proposed budget for fusion, if adopted by the Council, would enable realising ITER and permit at the same time a vigorous Accompanying Programme.