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15 June 2017

European Commission presents a communication on the ITER project

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On 14 June 2017, the European Commission adopted a communication presenting the revised schedule and budget estimates for European participation in the ITER project. A new baseline for the project plans the first experiments for 2025 and full power operation by 2035. Europe has played from the start a leading role in the project developed in close collaboration with the other countries who are part of ITER – the US, Russia, China, India, Japan, and Korea. The European contribution, channelled through Fusion for Energy, represents 45% of the construction costs of the project (the share will be less once it is in operation).

Since the turnaround of the project 2015-2016, milestones have been set by the ITER Council to allow close monitoring of the project progress. To date, all the project milestones due have been completed, and the pace of construction is steadily increasing both on-site (primarily construction of the buildings), and off-site: industry in Europe and worldwide is in full production and the first big components are due to be delivered by the end of this year.

The new schedule and its associated costs, together with the substantial improvement in the management of the project in the last two years, provide the necessary ground for the Commission to request the support of the European Parliament and a mandate from the Council of the EU to approve the new baseline of the project on behalf of Euratom. This Communication does not make concrete financial commitments on ITER ahead of the new Multiannual Financial Framework negotiations (MFF). Concrete financial commitments for the period post-2020 will be made at the time of budgetary authority decisions for the new MFF and will be finalized by heads of state and government in 2019.

Commission Communication: EU contribution to a reformed ITER project

Commission Staff Working Document: The ITER Project Status

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