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Science at the service of Europe

Fusion energy

Towards the industrial use of fusion energy

Research on fusion energy aims to pave the way to its industrialisation through bilateral contracts with research organisations, the multilateral European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA), the ITER project and initiatives to foster the involvement of industry.

EU funding in 2012
€ 1,150.21 million

Aerial view of ITER buildingJET remote handling

This activity contributes to the Europe 2020 Flagship Initiatives "Innovation Union", "Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era" and "Resource-Efficient Europe".

The activity remains a flagship of the European Research Area. In particular, the Joint European Torus (JET) is now producing crucial new data for ITER, an international project bringing together China, the EU, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the US. The initial operational campaigns of JET with the new 'ITER-Like Wall' were concluded at the end of July.

Earlier in the spring, the cutting-edge plasma-wall experimental facility, MAGNUM-PSI, was inaugurated at the DIFFER institute in the Netherlands. Moreover, throughout the year, the Joint Undertaking 'Fusion for Energy' (F4E) continued to deliver Europe's contribution to ITER. By the end of the year, F4E awarded contracts worth €1.8 billion, representing around 40% of the procurement needed to fulfil the European contribution to ITER.

Major milestones were also achieved, such as the handover of the ITER headquarters to the ITER Organisation and the authorisation of the installation of the ITER nuclear facility in Cadarache, France. In addition, the 'Poloidal Field Coils' building was completed in February and the works for the Tokamak Pit in April.

The International Fusion Energy Research Centre petaflop super-computer (HELIOS) at Rokkasho, Japan entered into service on schedule in January 2012. A Staff Working Document, which analyses the options for the future structure of the fusion programme in Europe, was prepared. The document assesses the options available in the short and long term and outlines the preferred course of action in fusion research during Horizon 2020.

In addition, a common fusion roadmap for demonstrating electricity production from fusion around the middle of the century was drawn up by EFDA members in 2012. This roadmap will improve cooperation on research, contribute to the construction and use of ITER, and lead to the next stage of electricity generation.