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 Eu and energy research

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Non-nuclear energy


Fission and radiation protection

Research infrastructures are essential for research in all areas of nuclear science and technology in order to maintain high standards of safety, technical achievement and innovation. They also have a crucial link with the education and training of scientists and engineers.

Owing to the high costs of many of these infrastructures, there is a clear European added value in countries working together and cooperating in their construction, maintenance and exploitation. The objective of the Euratom programme is therefore to provide support for key infrastructures, establish a critical mass in the important fields and promote the replacement of ageing facilities such as research reactors.

The Seventh Euratom Framework Programme (Euratom FP7) focuses on transnational access and on promoting cooperation among EU countries, including in the construction and operation of new facilities.

Supporting infrastructures

Support may cover design, construction and/or operation of key infrastructures. This could include material test facilities, training reactors, reactor components and systems, hot cells, numerical simulation tools and radiobiology facilities. Underground research laboratories for research on geological disposal, pilot/test facilities for partitioning and transmutation devices, facilities for severe accident testing and thermal hydraulic testing, as well as databases and tissue banks for use in radiation protection research could also be covered.

A useful evaluation of planned infrastructures is provided through the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) process.

Access to infrastructures

Euratom framework programmes try to facilitate transnational access to existing and future infrastructures by individual research workers and research teams.

Information on the services provided by top-level European research infrastructures is now more easily available to European researchers through the first-ever web portal on existing European research infrastructures of all kinds. This was launched in 2008 by the European Commission, in collaboration with the European Science Foundation (ESF).

Ongoing infrastructure projects