Dear reader,

picture of Francesco Romanelli

A year ago I was proud to announce the completion of the Fusion Roadmap, an effort that has marked a change in the way our community commits itself to deliver fusion electricity. The year that is drawing to a close has been devoted fully to preparing the implementation of the Fusion Roadmap.

Within just a few months, a detailed Work Plan has been defined. This is a significant step forward in the implementation of fusion activities within a project-oriented structure. In addition, the activities regarding education, training and enabling research which complement and support the mission-oriented work, have been defined with the aim of pursuing excellence in our research field and training the “ITER generation”.

Project Leaders have been selected from amongst the best scientists in fusion and appointed by the Heads of Research Units in October. I am convinced that we have put together a very good team, ready to take on the responsibility for the delivery of the Roadmap objectives, and I am looking forward to working together.

The EUROfusion Consortium governance is about to be finalised. This has required considerable effort from all the Institutions involved and I would like to take the opportunity of this end of year message to thank everyone involved for their support regarding the success of the task. Fusion activities are an example of joint programming and the new Consortium will reinforce this aspect. The approval of the EU fusion budget in November has marked a crucial milestone and we can now build our activities in Horizon 2020 on solid ground.

The ITER-Like Wall exploitation on JET has delivered its most significant result. The experimental JET findings over the last two years – and the specific experiment in which operation has been successfully demonstrated after producing a shallow layer of molten tungsten – have together paved the way towards achieving a positive recommendation of the ITER STAC to begin with a full tungsten divertor in ITER. This decision was approved by the ITER Council at the end of November and it will allow an optimal preparation of early ITER operations with a substantial reduction of the investment costs.

The seventh EU Framework Programme is coming to an end. It has seen the commencement of ITER construction, the completion of the largest JET enhancement since the installation of the pumped divertor and the formulation of the Fusion Roadmap. The eighth Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, will be starting in 2014 with a number of ambitious objectives to be achieved.

I wish you a successful 2014.




Francesco Romanelli