The European fusion research programme
All of Europe’s fusion research is coordinated by the European Commission, and funding is provided through Euratom(1), part of the Community’s Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. The programme is thus fully coordinated and integrated at the European level. It is executed using two main mechanisms:
(1) The Euratom Treaty (European Atomic Energy Community Treaty) was set up in 1957 with the objective of coordinating nuclear research and training within the European Atomic Energy Community.
- Contracts of Association between Euratom and EU Member States (or organisations in those states) and non member states associated with Euratom. All Member States participate in this way, as well as Switzerland (since 1979) and more recently the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, and Romania. Researchers in Bulgaria, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia currently participate under fixed-term contracts for specific projects.
- The European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) coordinates technology activities, the scientific exploitation of the Joint European Torus (JET) and European contributions to international collaborations. Here its main focus is on the European contribution to the international fusion energy demonstration project called ITER.