Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 385,5 million

Official Journal Reference

L 72 of 1980-03-18

Legislative Reference

80/318/Euratom of 1980-03-13
To continue major research into Tokamak thermonuclear fusion reactors with emphasis on the development of plasma heating techniques, particularly through the construction and exploitation of a Joint European Torus (JET), with a view to harnessing controlled thermonuclear fusion to secure the Community's long-term energy supplies.


The programme was carried out in accordance with the rules established by the Euratom Treaty (Art. 7) and as part of a long-term cooperative effort embracing all work carried out in the Member States in the field of controlled thermonuclear fusion. It was designed to lead in due course to the joint construction of prototypes with a view to their industrial production and marketing.

Beginning with the 1976-1980 programme the Council adopted the principle of the "sliding" programme whereby a new five-year Fusion programme is adopted every three years. Thus the first two years of the new programme coincide with the last two years of the previous programme. Authorized appropriations not used in the programme are carried over into the next.


- Plasma physics:
Studies of a basic character or relating to confinement with suitable devices and to methods for producing and heating plasma;
- Research into the confinement, in closed configurations, of plasma of widely varying density and temperature, if possible attaining ignition conditions;
- Research into light-matter interactions and transport phenomena and the development of high-power lasers;
- Development and application to confinement devices of sufficiently powerful plasma heating methods;
- Improvement of diagnostic methods;
- Study of technological problems connected with current research and problems relating to the use of thermonuclear reactions;
- Implementation of the Joint European Torus (JET) project.


The Commission, assisted by the Consultative Committee of the Fusion Programme (CCFP), was responsible for implementing the programme.

Implementation of the Joint European Torus (JET) project was entrusted to the JET Joint Undertaking, established for a period of twelve years from 1 June 1978 by Council Decision 78/471/Euratom (Official Journal No L 151 of 7.6.1978). Responsibility for the Joint Undertaking was vested in the JET Council (assisted by the JET Executive Committee and the JET Scientific Council) and in the Director of the JET Project.

Other projects were carried out by means of association or limited duration contracts designed to yield the results necessary for implementation of the programme and which took into consideration work carried out by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), in particular in relation to the study of technological problems and problems relating to the use of thermonuclear reactions.

After a technical examination, the CCFP was authorized to accord priority status to projects belonging to one of the following areas:
- Tokamak systems and support for JET;
- Other toroidal machines;
- Heating and injection, including support for JET in this field;
- Fusion technology;
- Research into light-matter interactions and transport phenomena and the development of high-power lasers.

The Commission financed these projects at a uniform preferential rate of about 45%. In return, all members of Associations involved in the programme had the right to take part in experiments carried out with the equipment thus constructed.

The upper limit of expenditure for the programme, exclusive of JET, was fixed at 190.5 million European units of account. The ceiling for JET was initially fixed at 145 million European units of account. This amount was subsequently deemed insufficient because of changes in economic conditions and was increased to ECU 195 million (Council Decision 81/380/Euratom of 19.5.1981).

The Commission submitted to the Council in 1981 a proposal to replace the programme by a new five-year programme with effect from 1 January 1982.


Nuclear Fusion
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