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The EU’s joint undertaking fusion for energy (F4E)

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The EU’s joint undertaking fusion for energy (F4E)

A large-scale international experiment, known as ITER, has been set up to prove the viability of nuclear fusion as an energy source. The European Union (EU) has created a joint undertaking for ITER and the development of fusion energy (F4E) in order to manage the EU’s contribution to ITER.

ACT

Council Decision 2007/198/Euratom of 27 March 2007 establishing the European joint undertaking for ITER and the development of fusion energy and conferring advantages upon it

SUMMARY

A large-scale international experiment, known as ITER, has been set up to prove the viability of nuclear fusion as an energy source. The European Union (EU) has created a joint undertaking for ITER and the development of fusion energy (F4E) in order to manage the EU’s contribution to ITER.

WHAT DOES THE DECISION DO?

It sets up a joint undertaking for ITER and F4E for a period of 35 years starting on 19 April 2007. F4E’s seat is in Barcelona, Spain.

F4E’s members are the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), represented by the European Commission, the 28 EU countries and Switzerland, which has concluded cooperation agreements with Euratom in the field of controlled nuclear fusion.

Objectives

These are:

to provide Euratom’s contribution to the ITER international fusion energy organisation and to ‘Broader Approach’ activities with Japan for the rapid realisation of fusion energy as well as to prepare and coordinate a programme of activities in preparation for the construction of a demonstration fusion reactor and related facilities including the international fusion materials irradiation facility.

In addition to its other activities, the main tasks of the joint undertaking are:

to oversee the preparation of the site for the ITER project;

to provide the ITER organisation with material, financial and human resources;

to coordinate scientific and technological research and development activities in the field of fusion; and

to act as an interface with the ITER organisation.

Budget

Euratom’s contribution to F4E for the 2014-2020 period is set at €2 915 million.

F4E’s indicative financial resources for the 2007-2041 period are estimated to amount to €9 653 million, with a contribution from Euratom of €7 649 million (subject to a maximum of 15 % for administrative costs).

Structure

F4E has legal personality.

F4E has the following.

A governing board, comprising representatives of F4E members. It is assisted by:

the bureau;

The board is responsible for the supervision of F4E in the implementation of its activities.

A director, who is responsible for representing F4E and the day-to-day running of the organisation, including signing contracts.

Liability and jurisdiction

F4E’s contractual liability is governed by the contract in question and the law applicable to it.

The Court of Justice of the EU has jurisdiction in actions and appeals brought against F4E.

BACKGROUND

Fusion energy, together with renewable energy sources and fission energy, is one of the three alternatives to fossil fuels. It is by far the most widespread in the universe - it is the source of energy radiated by the sun and other stars - but the least developed on earth of these three non-fossil energy sources.

The joint European torus (JET) project, established in 1978, contributed to advanced research in the field of fusion energy for several years. From 1988, the development of the ITER project represented a new stage in the field of fusion. This culminated, in 2001, in a detailed design for a research facility aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of fusion as an energy source from which the EU could derive significant benefit, in particular in the context of ensuring the security and diversity of its long-term energy supply.

In November 2003, the EU put forward France as the ITER host state and Cadarache as the ITER site.

For more information, see the F4E website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2007/198/Euratom

19.4.2007

-

OJ L 90, 30.3.2007, pp. 58-72

Amending acts

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2013/791/Euratom

24.12.2013

-

OJ L 349, 21.12.2013, pp. 100-102

Decision (Euratom) 2015/224

5.3.2015

-

OJ L 37, 13.2.2015, pp. 8-14

Last updated: 25.07.2015

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