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Framework programme


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Official Journal Reference

L 141 of 1992-05-23

Legislative Reference

92/274/Euratom of 1992-04-29
To improve the knowledge base and technology of safety and environmental aspects of future fusion machines for the European fusion programme.


Part of the third Framework programme for Community activities in the field of research and technological development (1990 to 1994) under subactivity II.5.: "Energy", the programme continues and builds on work carried out in the previous JRC programme in the field of fusion technology and safety. The main part of the work is in support of the Next Step (NET/ITER). An important feature of the programme is the operation of the ETHEL laboratory for the experimental study of the safe management of tritium. Other support to the Next Step encompasses design and development in specific technological areas such as remote handling of in-vessel components, plasma-facing components tests, a database for structural materials properties and nuclear data. Long-term actions include low-activation materials research.


Three research areas:

- ETHEL - European Tritium Handling Experimental Laboratory (Institute for Safety Technology, Ispra):
To provide the facility for, and - based on hydrogen/deuterium experimental data - to allow the investigations of, propagation modes of tritium in materials, components, equipment and, ultimately, complete systems in order to assess the tritium transfer pathways in process plants and to the environment with a view to providing more effective protection to workers and the general public;

- Components and reactor studies (Institute for Systems Engineering and Informatics, Ispra):
. Engineering support to the Next Step (NET/ITER);
. Tests on mockups of components for remote handling and reliability analyses;
. Accident analyses of Next Step and power reactors;

- Materials integrity (Institute for Advanced Materials, Petten):
Through experimental research, to develop the understanding of materials relevant to future thermonuclear fusion applications, to determine the properties of such materials, and to provide experimental support to the NET/ITER database.


The Commission, assisted by the Board of Governors of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), is responsible for carrying out the programme by means of the services of the JRC and in parallel with other relevant specific programmes of the third Framework programme (1990-1994).

The programme comprises research and technological development (RTD) projects and accompanying measures. The RTD projects are carried out in collaboration and in concert, whenever feasible, with national research bodies in the Member States, taking into account as far as possible regional development aspects of RTD activities and their potential socio-economic effects. Particular attention will be paid to associations with industry, notably with SMEs, in collaborative schemes around the projects.

The research is carried out by the Institute for Safety Technology (IST) and the Institute for Systems Engineering and Informatics (ISEI) at Ispra, and by the Institute for Advanced Materials (IAM) at Petten.

The Commission is authorized to negotiate international agreements with third country members of COST, in particular member countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Central and Eastern European countries, with a view to associating them with the programme. However, no contracting body based outside the Community may benefit from the Community financing granted to the programme. Such a body shall contribute to the general administrative costs.

Research projects open to international cooperation shall include cooperation measures with international research laboratories and make provision for the exchange of researchers. Supplementary measures should allow cooperation with research laboratories and institutions located in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the programme amount to ECU 41.58 million, 6% of which may be used for exploratory research. A sum representing 1% of the total JRC budget for 1992- 1994 is reserved as a contribution from the JRC's specific programmes to the centralized action on dissemination and exploitation of results (VALUE II).

Knowledge gained through the realization of the projects will be disseminated by the programme itself as well as by the centralized action.

The Commission shall each year before 31 March present to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee a report on the implementation of the programme, together with the observations of the Board of Governors. At the end of the programme an evaluation of the research shall be conducted by a group of independent external experts and a report on the evaluation, accompanied by the opinion of the Board of Governors, shall be forwarded to these same bodies.
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