International Cooperation on the way to fusion energy
The Association of the Austrian Academy of Sciences to the EURATOM Fusion Programme has officially come into existence on 15 November 1996. Numerous groups at Austrian universities, research institutions and industry have been active in this field since many years in close cooperation with fusion research institutions in various countries inside and outside of Europe.
The European Fusion Programme is co-ordinated by the Research Directorate-General, Directorate for Energy of the European Commission. The most important objectives in the area of Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion during the 7th EU-Framework Programme for Research and Technology Development (2007-2013) are the participation in the construction of the experimental device ITER in Cadarache (France) and the maintenance of the theoretical and technological knowledge base in the EURATOM Associations. ITER is a large-scale international co-operative project which at present involves seven partners (EU, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States); it will be the next step towards a fusion power plant for base-load electricity generation.
Technological and experimental research in the framework of the "European Fusion Development Agreement" (EFDA) is coordinated by the "EFDA Close Support Units" in Garching, Culham (JET) and Barcelona. The European Joint Undertaking for ITER, which has been formally established on 27 March 2007, will manage the European contribution to the ITER project and is located in Barcelona (Fusion for Energy). Austria is duly represented in the European Committees of the Fusion Programme.