Brussels, 9 October 2014
Europe gears up to make fusion energy a reality
The European Commission and the European fusion research laboratories are launching today a European joint programme on fusion in Horizon2020 – ‘EUROfusion’ – that will ensure significant progress along the path towards the realisation of fusion energy. This joint programme has an overall budget of at least 850 million euro over the period 2014-18, of which about half will come from the Euratom Horizon 2020 fusion energy research programme.
Vice-President Oettinger responsible for energy said "Fusion has the potential to become a reliable, safe, non-CO2 emitting and sustainable energy source. Today's launching of our European Joint Programme on fusion shows how Europe benefits if we unite our research strength. EUROfusion provides the framework for Europe to maintain its world leading position in fusion research: now let's live up to the challenge."
At the end of 2012, all EU research laboratories agreed a detailed goal-oriented roadmap to fusion energy by 2050. These same laboratories have now set up the EUROfusion consortium and will implement a 5-year joint programme to address the key scientific and technological challenges identified in the initial phase of the roadmap. The main focus during this period will be scientific and technical support to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor – ITER – currently under construction in France, and ensuring Europe is in a position to capitalise on the success of this pioneering project. In particular, the world's largest fusion research infrastructure currently in operation – JET, the Joint European Torus, situated at Culham, UK – will continue to be exploited by EUROfusion until 2018 and will play a key role in supporting ITER.
EUROfusion will also address fundamental issues relating to the next generation fusion demonstration reactor – DEMO – that will be connected to the grid and provide a blueprint for the deployment of fusion reactors across the world, enabling fusion to contribute to meeting the world's growing energy needs after 2050 alongside renewable energy such as wind and solar power. In this endeavour, EUROfusion will continue its close cooperation with European industry and Fusion for Energy – the European Agency for ITER.
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