How is the programme designed to deliver results?

Challenge

Nuclear research contributes to social well-being and economic prosperity by improving nuclear safety, security and radiation protection. Research and innovation in the nuclear field play a key role in maintaining the highest safety standards and Europe’s competences in the nuclear domain. Radiation protection research leads to improvements in medical technologies as well as in other sectors (such as industry, agriculture, and environment) from which many citizens benefit. Nuclear research also supports the Union’s efforts in the transition to a climate-neutral energy system.

Public and private research at national level has a significant role to play in this effort. Euratom’s task is to complement the Member States’ contributions by means of a Community-based research and training programme.

Mission

Euratom supports nuclear research and training activities. The programme aims at enhancing nuclear safety, security and protection from ionising radiation, including through safe waste management and decommissioning activities. The Programme focuses also on the development of fusion energy, a long-term option for large‑scale, low‑carbon electricity production, which could help address a growing energy demand beyond 2050.. The Programme provides, through the Joint Research Centre (JRC), an important independent scientific advice in support of the implementation of European policies in the nuclear field. The Programme also seeks to strengthen the EU’s nuclear competences and knowledge management, while expanding our knowledge base of fusion energy, and pursues improvements in the areas of education, training and access to research infrastructure.

Objectives

Euratom pursues the following specific objectives:

  1. To improve and support nuclear safety, security, safeguards, radiation protection, safe spent fuel and radioactive waste management and decommissioning, including the safe and secure use of nuclear power and of non-power applications of ionizing radiation;
  2. To maintain and further develop expertise and competence in the nuclear field within the Community;
  3. To foster the development of fusion energy as a potential future energy source for electricity production and contribute to the implementation of the European fusion roadmap;
  4. To support the policy of the Union on continuous improvement of nuclear safety, safeguards and security.

Budget

  • EUR 1 980.3 millionTotal financial programming 2021-2027
2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
265.7 270.7 276.5 281.2 287.8 293.8 304.5

In EUR million.

Actions

In 2021-25 actions for maintaining nuclear expertise and for supporting research for nuclear safety will remain a top priority of Euratom for direct and indirect actions, with particular emphasis on nuclear plants ageing, long-term operation strategies and accident management. The additional safety requirements introduced by the Nuclear Safety Directive require increased efforts in developing an understanding of degradation mechanisms of safety-relevant components and the impact on safety overall. This would support a science-based assessment of the safety margins and allow for timely implementation of safety improvements. The predictive tools and assessment methods developed by the programme would benefit the periodic safety reviews of existing nuclear installations. They would also help the regulators in assessing new designs.

Direct actions, implemented by the JRC, will focus as well on nuclear security and nuclear safeguards by developing techniques and methods aiming at reducing nuclear security risks and supporting nuclear non-proliferation efforts. In addition, the JRC will develop nuclear standards and support the implementation of Euratom policies in these areas.

For the development of fusion energy during 2021‑2025, the co-funded European Partnership in fusion research will build on the progress made by the EUROfusion consortium (2014-2020), providing support for the efficient commencement of ITER’s operations and, working hand-in-hand with industry, to increase the efforts on the conceptual design of a fusion power plant.

Delivery mode

The indirect actions (grants for research labs and universities) are implemented under the lead of Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. The Programme also supports direct actions undertaken by the JRC.

Performance framework: more information

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Where are we in the implementation?

You will find information on the programme implementation in this webpage.

It will be updated when the programme will have started on an annual basis alongside the publication of the draft budget and the discharge.

Next publication (estimation): June 2022.

Predecessor programmes 2014-2020

The 2021-2025 Euratom programme builds on its predecessor, the 2014-2020 Euratom Programme. Compared to its predecessor, the new programme has a single set of objectives for both direct and indirect actions, seeking to enhance synergies with Horizon Europe in particular in medical applications of radiation. It reinforces the education and training actions in nuclear field and opens Marie Skłodowska‑Curie Actions (MSCA) for nuclear researchers.

2014-2020 Euratom Research and Training programme

  • EUR 2 368.9 millionBudget allocation 2014-2020

Overall execution (2014-2020)

  Total %
Commitments EUR 2 357.0 million
99%
 
Payments EUR 2 054.1 million
87%
 

This graph includes implementation based on voted budget appropriations and carried-over appropriations.

 

Key monitoring indicators

  Baseline Progress Target Results Assessment
Projects in nuclear safety leading to a demonstrable improvement in nuclear safety practices in Europe  
>100%
44 47 projects compared to a target of 44 On track
Projects contributing to the development of safe long-term solutions for the management of nuclear waste  
86%
 
14 12 projects out of 14 On track
Fellows and trainees in the fusion strand of the Euratom programme (1)  
64%
 
50 32 fellows and trainees out of 50 Moderate progress
Publications in peer-reviewed high-impact journals (1)  
>100%
800 822 publications compared to a target of 800 On track
Achievement of fusion roadmap’s milestones (1)  
91%
 
90% 82% of milestones reached out of 90% On track
Instances of direct actions leading to scientific productivity (2)  
86%
 
435 374 occurrences out of 435 Moderate progress
Technical and scientific policy support provided by the Joint Research Centre (2)  
98%
 
1 164 1 136 occurrences out of 1 164 On track

(1) Latest results are from 2019.
(2) Cumulative results for 2014-2020.

% of target achieved by the end of 2020

 

 

Concrete examples of achievements

  • 98 projectsfunded by the programme to support research into nuclear safety, radioactive waste management, radiation protection and medical applications of radiation.
  • 95% of deliverablesachieved by the EUROfusion consortium in 2019, including setting of parameters for the successful start-up and safe operation of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.
  • 3 273 scientific publicationsin peer-reviewed journals.
  • 774 PhDssupported, including 750 PhDs in fusion physics and technology.

Programme Performance Overview

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