Euratom Nuclear Research - Introduction
Think about it...
Nuclear Energy Research is governed by the Euratom Treaty conceived the same year as the Treaty of Rome, in 1957. The Treaty (Art. 2) bounds all EU Member States, "to promote research in the field of nuclear energy and ensure the dissemination of technical information".
Climate change, crisis recovery, energy security and low-carbon society are all grand challenges requiring common vision, but also global actions.
Research and leading innovation are key to Europe’s response to these challenges and this is why they are placed at the core of the Commission's proposal for the EU 2020 Strategy.
Breaking through to a low-carbon future is not an easy task. It requires the development of a broad portfolio of new energy technologies. A majority of EU Member States currently pursue the nuclear option, which results in almost 30% of the electricity consumed in the EU being provided by nuclear power, and as nuclear energy remains a technology of choice for many, the Commission will maintain and develop research into this area - and in particular safety and security issues. Furthermore, it is an indigenous carbon-free technology that together with renewables contributes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lowers our dependence on imported energy.
The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (the so called SET-Plan) identifies a number of key technologies for the next decades, including fusion and fission.
Half-century old Euratom research at a turning point today
Fifty years ago the Euratom Treaty became the launch pad for European co-operative research on nuclear fission and fusion, which is facing today a turning point.
The Euratom fusion R&D programme has its focus on the construction of the world's largest energy research project, ITER, which brings together 7 global partners representing more than half the planet's population and 80% of the world's GDP. Euratom research in this field aims at harnessing the energy that powers the sun and the stars, in other words, the energy that makes life on Earth possible.
The Euratom fission research concentrates all efforts in establishing tangible solutions to citizens concerns on safety and waste, and at the same time focuses in the area of advanced nuclear technology to identify the best way towards new generation reactors, like the Generation-IV.
Nuclear research provides the best means for rendering fusion and fission a safe, secure and competitive option in Europe's ambitious but necessary path towards a sustainable low-carbon future. Euratom research strives to make nuclear technology, along with renewables, the bedrock of a society that takes seriously the environmental responsibility and respects the Earth's natural resources.
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