Controlling nuclear fusion is a major scientific and technological challenge. It is also an important part of creating a resource efficient, low carbon and climate resilient economy by 2050.
EU funding in 2011
€ 396.09 million
The European fusion research programme tackles climate change and the need for sustainable and secure energy. These are key challenges identified in the Europe 2020 and Energy 2020 Communications.
Due to the scale of fusion research and the need for expertise in a wide range of disciplines, the fusion programme has been a joint effort by Euratom, all EU Member States and Switzerland for many years. This integrated European fusion programme successfully pools resources and disseminates relevant knowledge and skills. The fusion programme's strong coherence has brought Europe to the lead in fusion research. It has also made the Joint European Torus (JET) possible¬. This has produced the world's most successful fusion experiment to date.
Important future EU challenges were identified in the Strategic Energy Technology Plan. One of these challenges was the construction of ITER, which is the largest fusion experimental facility in the world. To ease this difficulty, the Commission proposed funding ITER from outside the next multi-annual financial framework (MFF) through a supplementary research programme for the period 2014-2018. According to this proposal, all MS would contribute on the basis of their gross national income. By November 60 procurement arrangements had been signed between the ITER Organisation and domestic agencies, representing 71.5% of the total procurement value for the construction of ITER.