Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Framework programme


Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 60 million

Official Journal Reference

L 286 of 1988-10-20

Legislative Reference

88/522/Euratom of 1988-10-14
To investigate safety aspects of the technology of controlled thermonuclear fusion, including the Next European Torus (NET) and the planned tritium laboratory.


Part of the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (1987-1991) under subactivity 5.2.: "Controlled thermonuclear fusion".

This second programme on fusion technology and safety undertaken by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) is fully integrated with the work carried out by the European Associated Laboratories under the Community's Fusion Programme (1985-1989). Environmental studies have been included in the research from the outset, as requested by the European Parliament.


Three areas:

- Contribution, at the direct request of the team of the Next European Torus (NET) operating at IPP-Garching (Germany), to the pre-design of the machine. Specific areas are the mechanical configuration, the design of plasma facing and tritium breeding components, and the maintenance and remote handling procedures;

- Contribution to the database of materials needed in the design of the NET components. This will involve structural materials as well as the lithium-lead as breeder;

- Simulation of the standard operation and the accidental conditions of the NET components. This applies in particular to thermal fatigue and the lifetime of the first wall and to the lithium-lead/water interaction in case of a coolant pipe break.

Beside these activities, which involve direct support for the NET project, the Joint Research Centre deals with more general aspects of fusion technology, namely:
- Investigation of advanced materials suitable for the power stations after NET;
- Fusion safety assessments, such as accident and environmental analysis, the evaluation of safety-related information and the definition of safe procedures for tritium handling. The main tool for tritium safety investigation is the European Tritium Handling Experimental Laboratory (ETHEL) at Ispra, to be operational by the end of 1990.

Support for the Joint European Torus on specific problems, as requested, is also envisaged.


The Commission, assisted by the board of governors of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), is responsible for implementing the programme, which is executed by the JRC's Institute for Systems Engineering at Ispra and Petten.

The Commission ensures, in cooperation with the board of governors, that periodic consultation is maintained with the relevant Management and Coordination Advisory Committees (CGCs) or equivalent committees with a view to ensuring coordination and consistency between shared-cost actions and JRC activities in the same areas.

Before 31 March each year the Commission submits a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Decision. It will subsequently submit a report on the research carried out, as evaluated by a panel of external experts.


Nuclear Fusion - Safety
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