Euratom fusion research

Fusion research in Europe is aimed at demonstrating that nuclear fusion is a viable future energy option. The abundant and widespread fuel resources, the inherent safety aspects, and the low environmental impact of fusion are all reasons why Europe and the large nations of the world are pursuing its development as a possible future energy source.

Achieving this aim requires a long-term and large scale research effort, which would be impossible to sustain for any single European country. That is why all the Member states of the European Union collaborate in a single research programme, which is coordinated on a European scale. The Swiss Federation is also part of this programme.

In Europe, fusion research takes place in a great number of research institutes and universities. On the European level, the so-called EURATOM Treaty is the international legal framework under which Member States cooperate in the fields of nuclear fission and fusion research. Fusion research organisations in the Member States have so-called “Contracts of Association” with the European Commission (which represents Euratom), in which the long-term commitments and work plans are laid down. This has lead to a research programme that is coordinated and integrated on a European level. Named after the Contracts of Association, the national fusion research organisations and institutions are known as Euratom Associations.

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