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FP7-Euratom Research Theme: Fusion Energy Research
Objectives:The objectives of the FP7 Euratom thematic area of 'Fusion Energy Research' are:
- to develop the knowledge base for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER);
- to realise ITER as the major step towards the creation of a prototype reactors for power stations, which are safe, sustainable, environmentally responsible, and economically viable.
Programme type:Seventh Framework Programme
Programme Funding:1947 million euro
Framework programme: FP7
Umbrella programme: FP7-EURATOM
Previous Programme(s): FP6-EURATOM-FUSION
Contract types:Coordination (or networking) actions, Support actions
Subdivisions of Programme:The following information was based on the official information available at the time of writing. Priorities and activities may change.
For the very latest information please consult the work programmes available with the appropriate call at:
The key activities of the thematic area of "Fusion Energy Research" include:
(i) The realisation of ITER
This includes activities for the joint realisation of ITER as an international research infrastructure, as follows:
- the Community will have a special responsibility within the ITER Organisation as the host of the project and will assume a leading role, in particular regarding site preparation, establishing the ITER Organisation, management and staffing, plus general technical and administrative support;
- Community participation in ITER as a party will include contributions to the construction of equipment and installations which are within the perimeter of the ITER site and necessary for its exploitation and support to the project during construction;
- the R&D activities in support of ITER construction will be carried out in the "Fusion Associations" and European industries. They will include the development and testing of components and systems.
(ii) R&D in preparation of ITER operation
A focused physics and technology programme will aim at consolidation of ITER project choices and preparation for a rapid start-up of ITER operation, reducing significantly the time and cost needed for ITER to achieve its baseline objectives. It will be executed through coordinated experimental, theoretical and modelling activities using the JET facilities and other magnetic confinement devices, existing, future or those under construction (Tokamaks, Stellarators, RFPs), and other devices in the "Associations", it will ensure that Europe has the necessary impact on the ITER project, and it will prepare for a strong European role in its exploitation. This programme will include:
- assessment of specific key technologies for ITER operation through the completion and exploitation of the JET enhancements (first wall, heating systems, diagnostics),
- exploration of ITER operating scenarios by means of targeted experiments on JET and other facilities, and coordinated modelling activities.
(iii) Technology activities in preparation of DEMO
Key technologies and materials required for the licensing, construction and operation of the DEMO power plant will be further developed in Associations and industry in order to test them in ITER and to position European industry to be able to construct DEMO and develop future fusion power plants. The following activities will be implemented:
- establishment of a dedicated project team and implementation of the Engineering Validation and Engineering Design Activities (EVEDA) to prepare for the construction of the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF), which will be used for testing materials of a fusion power station - an essential pre-condition for the licensing of DEMO;
- development, irradiation testing and modelling of low activation and radiation resistant materials; development of the key technologies required for fusion power plant operation, including blankets; conceptual design activities of DEMO, including safety and environmental aspects.
(iv) R&D activities for the long term
Building on the activities aimed specifically at ITER and DEMO, the fusion programme will develop competences and enlarge the knowledge base in fields which are strategically relevant to future fusion power stations. These research activities will lead to enhanced technical feasibility and economic viability of fusion power. Specific actions for these purposes in the Seventh Framework Programme will include:
- improved concepts for magnetic confinement schemes will be studied on those concepts offering a high reactor potential, including stellarators. Work will concentrate on completion of the W7-X stellarator; utilisation of existing devices for expansion of the experimental databases; and appraisal of the future perspectives for these configurations,
- an experimental fusion physics programme, which will be carried out with the objective of realising a comprehensive understanding of fusion plasmas aimed at the optimisation of power station design,
- theory and further modelling with the ultimate aim of a comprehensive understanding of reactor-grade fusion plasmas,
- studies of the sociological aspects and economics of fusion power generation, and actions aimed at the promotion of public awareness and understanding of fusion;
The existing activity in Inertial Fusion Energy, which maintains a watching brief on Member States' civil research activities on inertial confinement will continue.
(v) Human resources, education and training
Ensuring adequate human resources and a high level of cooperation within the programme, both for the immediate and medium term needs of ITER, and for the further development of fusion, will be addressed by:
- support for the mobility of researchers between organisations participating in the programme, in order to promote enhanced collaboration and integration of the programme, and to foster international cooperation;
- high-level training for engineers and researchers at post-graduate and post-doctoral level, including the use of facilities in the programme as training platforms and dedicated seminars and workshops. Action shall be taken to foster cooperation between participants in the programme in higher education, which may include masters and doctoral courses in "Physics and Engineering for Fusion";
- promotion of innovation and exchange of know-how with related universities, research institutes and industry;
- encouragement in the generation of patents.
The realisation of ITER in Europe, in the international framework of the ITER "Organisation", will be an element of the new research infrastructures with a strong European dimension.
(vii) Technology transfer processes
ITER will require new and more flexible organisational structure to enable the process of innovation and technological progress which it creates to be swiftly transferred to industry, so that the challenges can be met to enable European industry to become more competitive.
(viii) Responding to emerging and unforeseen policy needs
A "fast track" fusion development programme could bring fusion energy earlier to the market, as part of a wider policy of addressing the issues of the security of Europe's energy supply, climate change, and sustainable development. The primary objective and a major milestone of the "fast track" would be an earlier realisation of DEMO. In FP7, this would involve activities and projects embedded in the international Broader Approach to fusion energy, undertaken by Euratom in collaboration with ITER partners.
Implementation:Activities under the thematic area "Fusion Energy Research" may be implemented on the basis of procedures and rules for dissemination and use set out in the following frameworks:
(a) The Contracts of Association, concluded between the Community and Member States or associated third countries or legal entities within Member States or associated third countries.
(b) The European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA), concluded between the Community and organisations in, or acting for, Member States and associated countries.
(c) The European 'Joint Undertaking' for ITER, based on the provisions of Title II, Chapter 5 of the Treaty.
(d) International agreements relating to cooperation with third countries, or any legal entity which may be established by such an agreement, in particular the ITER Agreement.
(e) Any other multilateral agreement concluded between the Community and associated organisations, in particular the 'Agreement on Staff Mobility'.
(f) Cost sharing actions to promote and contribute to fusion energy research with bodies in the Member States or the countries associated with the Seventh Framework Programme in which there is no 'Contract of Association'.
General information:The 'Fusion Energy Research' thematic area of the Seventh Framework Programme project aims to address serious shortcomings in terms of Europe's short-, medium- and long- term energy supply, security of supply, climate change, and sustainable development, while ensuring that future economic growth is not threatened. Nuclear fusion has the potential to make a major contribution to the realisation of a sustainable and secure energy supply for the EU, once commercial fusion reactors have become commercially viable.
The long-term goal of European fusion research, embracing all fusion activities in the Member States and associated third countries, is the joint creation, in approximately thirty or thirty-five years, of prototype reactors for power stations that are economically viable and meet the requirements for safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly energy provision.
ITER, a major experimental facility which will demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power, is the first priority of the 'Fusion Energy Research' strategy. This is expected to be followed by the construction of DEMO, a "demonstration" fusion power station, accompanied by a dynamic programme of supporting R&D for ITER and for the developments in fusion materials, technologies and physics required for DEMO.
Please visit the CORDIS site to check the latest calls of proposals and the official work programme under the 'Euratom' specific programme http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/dc/index.cfm
Please visit the CORDIS site (http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/find-doc_en.html) to download the following legal documents:
- Council Decision of 18 December 2006 concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007-2011) (2006/970/Euratom)
- Corrigendum to Council Decision 2006/971/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the Specific Programme implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007 to 2011) (2006/976/Euratom)
- Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1908/2006 of 19 December 2006 laying down the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities in action under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community and for the dissemination of research results (2007 to 2011).
Remarks:Please visit the CORDIS site to check the latest calls for proposals and the official work programme under the FP7 'SIS' research theme http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/dc/index.cfm
Number of Projects:3
Subject index:Policies, Coordination, Cooperation, Scientific Research, Nuclear Fusion
Official Journal Reference:L 54/142
Official Journal Date:2006-12-30
Record control number:867