Fusion energy: political agreement in the Council on ITER financing
Member states’ ambassadors today reached a political agreement on the proposed Council Decision amending Decision 2007/198/Euratom establishing the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the development of fusion energy and conferring advantages upon it.
The proposed Decision aims at securing the financing of the ITER project during the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) period 2021-2027 in order to enable the continued European participation in the ITER project in line with its commitments as the Host Party to this international project.
The indicative Euratom contribution to the Joint Undertaking for the period 2021-2027 is set at €5.61 billion (in current prices).
On the basis of today’s political agreement, the agreed text (following legal linguistic scrutiny) will be submitted to the Council for adoption in the first months of 2021.
The Commission submitted its proposal 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 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 the Commission, 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.