Europe continues to show leadership by supporting the completion of ITER, the international experimental fusion reactor
ITER is a unique international collaborative project to construct and operate an experimental facility for testing the viability of fusion as a clean and sustainable source of energy. Fusion is the reaction by which the Sun and all stars produce their energy from hydrogen atoms.
Europe continues to show worldwide leadership by ensuring, in line with its 45% share in the project, that the necessary resources are provided to the project for the completion of the construction phase of ITER. This will allow for the first experiments to start in 2025 and to continue towards full operation by 2035. For this, the Commission has proposed to allocate EUR 6.07 billion to ITER in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). Investing in ITER is in line with the EU's long-term strategies of decarbonisation and having sustainable and secure energy, as well as with boosting Europe’s growth and competitiveness.
Fusion as an energy source will offer important strategic advantages compared to other options:
- the absence of CO2 emissions in fusion reactions makes it a verifiably low-carbon source;
- it presents no nuclear safety risks;
- its development has demonstrated positive technology spill-overs as well as jobs and growth impacts already at the present stage;
- the requisite fuels are easily available.
Building on several decades of fusion research, ITER aims to reach technological breakthroughs and reach a significant net thermal power output, which will in term pave the way towards a demonstration fusion power plant (DEMO) in the second half of this century.