Could fusion, the energy source of the Sun and stars, be the energy of the future? The fusion reaction is fueled by isotopes of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium), making the process safe and cost-efficient. One gram of hydrogen isotopes can release the same energy as 8 tons of oil.
Fusion therefore has the potential to provide a sustainable solution to European and global energy needs. For this reason, the EU is part of an international consortium building an experimental facility called ITER ("the way" in Latin) in the South of France. This will be the largest fusion device to produce energy and is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today.
The project already has a clear positive impact in making Europe more competitive and in creating new skills, jobs, and partnerships between big and smaller companies.
Involvement of the EU
- 21 November 2006: the ITER agreement setting up the ITER Organization is signed by China, South Korea, the United States, India, Japan, Russia and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom).
- 19 April 2007: The European body Fusion for Energy (F4E) is established for a period of 35 years. F4E is the EU’s Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy, which coordinates the European Union's contribution.
- 1 June 2007: The Broader Approach agreement (BA), signed jointly by Euratom and Japan, enters into force. Its aim is to complement the ITER project and to accelerate the realisation of fusion energy.
- 14 June 2017: the European Commission adopts a Communication setting out a revised schedule and budget estimate for the EU's participation in the ITER project.
- 12 April 2018: the Council of the EU adopts its conclusions on the Commission’s Communication and reaffirms “the continued commitment of Euratom to the successful completion of the ITER project“.
- 2 May 2018: the Commission proposes to allocate EUR 6.07 billion to ITER in the EU budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) for 2021-2027.