The Council today adopted a Decision securing the continuation of the European financing of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project during the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) period 2021-2027.
The indicative European contribution to the project for the period 2021-2027 is set at €5.61 billion in current prices.
The Council Decision shall enter into force the day following its publication on the Official Journal.
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) agreement was signed in November 2006 by Euratom, the United States, the Russian Federation, Japan, China, South Korea and India. Euratom, which is according to the ITER Agreement the Host Party, has taken the lead in this project. This international fusion energy project is a first-of-a kind long-term project to build and operate a reactor to test the feasibility of fusion as an energy source.
According to Commission estimates, the important achievement of the first plasma will probably take place in December 2025, with the full operation estimated in 2035. Fusion energy as a viable commercial energy source is not expected to produce electricity before 2050.
Decision 2007/198/Euratom established the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy to provide the contribution of Euratom to the ITER International Fusion Energy Organisation and the Broader Approach Activities with Japan as well as to prepare and coordinate a programme of activities in preparation for the construction of a demonstration fusion reactor and related facilities.
The Commission submitted its proposal for a Council Decision on 7 June 2018. The European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the ITER proposal on 15 January 2019 welcoming the proposal and calling on the Council to approve it (the Parliament does not have co-legislative powers on this proposal). The Council reached a political agreement on the proposed Decision on 18 December 2020.