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Reinforcing the networking of FP7 National Contact Points (NCP) and third country contacts in the Euratom Fission Programme

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Promoting Europe's vision for fission

A well-organised network of National Contact Points (NCPs) promises better coordination of research activities and technology development in the area of nuclear fission and radiation protection in Europe.

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Nuclear fission can deliver practically carbon-free energy for Europe's citizens and industries. However, long-term sustainability, safety of operation and management of waste all influence the general perception of nuclear fission as a viable energy source. This underlines the importance of increasingly integrated research efforts while guaranteeing the most efficient use of EU Framework Programme funding. Within the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) Fission Programme, the EU stakeholders have integrated and expanded research and development capabilities. This has facilitated pan-European collaborative efforts in the development and deployment of new nuclear technologies, as well as actions to harmonise Europe's training and education. Backed by EU funding, the NUCL-EU project aimed to stimulate closer cooperation among all the NCPs for the EURATOM programme. As providers of information and assistance to potential partners of new projects and beneficiaries of ongoing projects, NCPs can help mobilise the resources needed to fulfil the vision of sustainable nuclear energy. To achieve its aims, project partners designed a training programme covering possible gaps of knowledge among EURATOM NCPs. Tailor-made sessions and twinning schemes contributed to enhancing the service level for researchers working in the field of nuclear fission. Third country contacts were also encouraged to participate in all NUCL-EU training activities. A virtual helpdesk was established for the less experienced NCPs to benefit from continuous mentoring and support in their daily work. More experienced NCPs were responsible for the questions posted on EURATOM policies, calls for proposals and project management. All registered users of the EURATOM NCP forum on CORDIS could make use of the NUCL-EU helpdesk. Although the project's efforts focused on NCPs, the European research community will also benefit from a higher level of services and accumulated know-how. Thanks to a more uniform and improved NCP services across Europe, NUCL-EU has contributed to increase participation in the EURATOM programme by lowering entry barriers for newcomers.

Keywords

National Contact Points, nuclear fission, energy source, Euratom, nuclear technologies

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