What we do
All EU Member States have signed the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community - the Euratom Treaty. As President Barroso stated during a conference on the civil use of nuclear energy (Paris, 8 March 2010), the European Commission is the watchful guardian of the Treaty; more than half of EU countries are currently producing nuclear energy and, in doing so, have adhered to the high level standards of safety and security stated in the Treaty.
Originally created to coordinate the Member States' research programmes for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the Euratom Treaty today helps to pool knowledge, infrastructure and funding of nuclear energy. It ensures the security of atomic energy supply within the framework of a centralised monitoring system. In particular, the provisions of the Treaty enable multiannual Research Framework Programmes to be funded from the EU budget.
Under the current Euratom Framework Programme (FP7) €2.7 billion is available between 2007-11 for research activities in fusion energy and nuclear fission and radiation protection. The programme is implemented on the basis of annual work programmes which are approved by the European Commission.
2007-11 budget by research area ( million)
The overall objectives of the programme as stated in the Council Decision establishing FP7 Euratom, are to:
- Enhance safety performance, resource efficiency and cost effectiveness of nuclear fission and other uses of radiation in industry and medicine.
- Develop the technology for safe, sustainable, environmentally responsible and economically viable fusion energy.
For Fusion, the main research activities are:
- Realisation of ITER
- R&D for ITER operation
- Technology for DEMO (the first prototype of commercial fusion power plant)
- Human resources
- Technology transfer
For Fission, the main research activities are: