EU Science Hub

Institute of Transuranium Elements celebrates its 50 years of existence

Nov 21 2013

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the JRC's Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU), located in Karlsruhe (Germany). The JRC welcomed for the celebration high-level guests representing politics, industry, science and research at international, European, national and regional levels.

Since the foundation stone was laid in 1963, the institute’s portfolio has evolved to face emerging scientific and policy support needs and has gained worldwide recognition as a reference centre and a key contributor to an effective safety and safeguards system for the nuclear fuel cycle.

The anniversary also coincides with 25 years of successful collaboration between ITU and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) in Japan. ITU also cooperates with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the OECD-Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA) and worldwide key national nuclear safety and security key stakeholders.

To underline this important milestone a high-level meeting was organised with key partners on "Nuclear Security and Safety". It allowed participants to reflect on the achievements of the last 50 years, and to explore the future challenges, based on the priorities of Horizon 2020, the new EU strategy to boost research and innovation to be launched next month. The audience was addressed by the following personalities: Dominique Ristori, JRC Director-General, Dainius Kamaitis, Director of the Economic Security Policy Department of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Volker Rieke, Director-General European and International Cooperation in Education and Research at the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Simone Schwanitz, Director at the Baden-Wϋrttemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, Masahiro Kakumu, President of CRIEPI, Helmfried Meinel, Director-General of the Baden-Wϋrttemberg Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Sector and Frank Mentrup, first mayor of Karlsruhe.

The JRC, through its Institute for Transuranium Elements, provides scientific and technical support to the European Commission in the implementation of the Euratom treaty, extended to the EU Member States and Associated Countries. It focuses its activities nuclear waste management, safety of nuclear fuels and fuel cycle, nuclear medical applications, nuclear safeguards, non-proliferation, security, nuclear forensics and combating illicit trafficking of nuclear materials. In addition, it is also responsible for research and development, and training and capacity building, thereby playing an essential role in enhancing the highest standards of nuclear safety and security in the EU.