Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 71,1 million

Official Journal Reference

L 143 of 1971-06-29

Legislative Reference

71/237/Euratom of 1971-06-21
To carry out research on fusion and plasma, including research relating to confinement and the production of plasmas, diagnostic methods and thermonuclear reactor technology.


Like its predecessors, this fifth Community programme in the field of fusion and plasma physics was carried out in accordance with the 1957 Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). It was the first Community programme in the field to be adopted by a separate Council Decision. The earlier programmes formed part of four successive Community research and training programmes in the field of nuclear energy which were carried out from 1958 to the end of 1970.

Initially, a fifth programme lasting only one year was adopted by the Council as part of the 1971 research and training programme in the field of nuclear energy (Council Decision of 27 October 1970, Official Journal No L 247 of 11.11.1979, as amended by the Council Decision of 25 January 1971, Official Journal No L 31 of 8.2.1971). However, taking account of the long-term effort still needed to reach the stage of practical application of controlled thermonuclear fusion, a five-year programme was adopted in place of the one-year programme.

The 1971-1975 programme was implemented as part of a long-term cooperative effort embracing all work carried out in the Member States in the field of fusion and plasma physics. It was designed to lead in due course to the joint construction of prototypes with a view to their industrial-scale production and marketing.


Subject matter of the programme executed by the associated laboratories:
- General physics in the sector concerned, in particular studies of a basic character or relating to confinement of plasma with suitable devices and to methods for producing and heating plasma;
- Research on the confinement in closed and open-ended configurations of plasma of widely varying density and temperature;
- Production of and research on plasma of high and very high density;
- Improvement of diagnostic methods;
- Investigation of technological problems connected with current research and of problems relating to thermonuclear reactor technology;
- The design phase of the JET project.


The Commission was responsible for the implementation of the programme by means of association or limited duration contracts.

The initial programme budget of 46.5 million units of account (u.a.) was increased to 56.196 million u.a. by Council Decision 73/129/Euratom of 14 May 1973 in order to ensure the active participation of the enlarged Community, following the accession to the Community of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark. A further increase to 71.1 million u.a. was adopted by Council Decision 74/36/Euratom of 17 December 1973 in order to finance detailed studies which would serve as a basis for the future decision on the construction of the JET (Joint European Torus) Tokamak device.
After conducting a technical examination of the various projects proposed, the Commission was authorized to finance, within the upper limits given below in millions of units of account, the following operations, which were to be accorded priority status:
- Low-beta stellarator and Tokamak (11.8);
- Screw pinch and high-beta stellarator (3.3);
- Heating and injection processes (1.9);
- Very high density processes (1.4);
- Open-ended configurations (0.5);
- Reactor technology (0.9).

Within the upper limit of 71.1 million u.a., a maximum amount of 17.8 million u.a. was available to finance equipment for the above-mentioned operations, at a standard preferential rate of participation not exceeding 44%. In return, all members of the Associations had the right to take part in the experiments carried out with this equipment. A maximum amount of 1.25 million u.a. was set aside to ensure mobility of research staff of the Member States to enable them to work in the associated laboratories or the JET Working Party. A maximum amount of 1.6 million u.a. was set aside for the first design phase of the JET project.

The Euratom Treaty requires that the Commission submit annual reports to the Council on the implementation of the research and training programmes in the field of nuclear energy and that it keep the Economic and Social Committee informed of their broad outlines. Concerning the dissemination of information over which the Community has power of disposal, the Commission may grant licences and sub-licences on terms to be agreed with the licensees.


Nuclear Fusion
Record Number: 100 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05