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Europe and India sign cooperation agreement – ITER goes on

Brussels, 06 November 2009

The European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the Indian Government signed today a cooperation agreement in the field of fusion energy research. Fusion is the technology which aims to reproduce the physical reaction - fusion - that occurs in the sun and stars. The European Union and India are already partners in the construction of the international fusion tokamak ITER. The agreement was signed at the EU-India Summit in New Delhi by the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

The Agreement will further promote and will give more visibility to the bilateral constructive co-operation. It is a complement to the joint activities already established in the multilateral framework of ITER to which both sides are fully committed.

Euratom and India will establish a fast track for the exchange of both information on research issues and scientists in research projects. India has already ongoing collaborations with several European national research centres on fusion. Indian scientists will now join the major fusion experiments of Euratom.

One of the most important is the possible exploitation of the Joint European Torus (JET) facility in Culham (UK). It is the biggest fusion experimental tokamak in the world and regarded as the step before ITER. The partners will exploit their potential in the field of tokamaks and their alternatives, magnetic fusion energy technology, plasma theory and applied plasma physics. The new collaboration is intended to reinforce the progress on ITER.  

India has a strong and consolidated expertise on plasma and superconductors. It has been operating its own two tomakak machines for years.

Background
With Euratom the European Commission is managing the overall policy for fusion research and ITER construction. The budget is about €1.9bn over the period 2007-2011.

Additional information: press release IP/09/1678

Contacts:
Aurora Sanseverino aurora.sanseverino@ec.europa.eu Tel: +32 2 29 85603
Florian Frank, florian.frank@ec.europa.eu, Tel: +32 2 29 97934