The Council of the European Union adopted the Regulation establishing the Euratom Research and Training Programme for 2021-2025 on 12 May. The programme has a budget of EUR 1.382 million and will contribute to fusion and fission research, support Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and strengthen Europe’s nuclear expertise and competences.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: "The newly adopted Euratom Programme will complement Horizon Europe. It will support research and innovation in areas such as cancer treatment and diagnostics, nuclear safety and fusion. Thanks to Euratom, Europe will maintain world leadership in fusion, nuclear safety, radiation protection, waste management and decommissioning, safeguards and security with the highest level of standards."
The Programme will contribute to the implementation of the European Research Roadmap to the realisation of Fusion Energy, which represents a long-term option for large‑scale, low‑carbon electricity production. It could help address a growing low-carbon energy demand towards the end of this century. Before deployment of fusion power plants, fusion research will enable Europe to create high-tech innovations and, with them, a more competitive high-tech industry.
Fission research will focus on safety, management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, decommissioning, radiation protection, education and training. The new Programme places increased emphasis on non-power application of nuclear technology. In this regard, the medical field is the most prominent and Euratom is supporting the European’s Beating Cancer Plan (cf. ionising radiation used for diagnostics and therapy). There is also much potential in the application of nuclear science to fields like agriculture, environment and space.
Direct actions implemented by the JRC complement the research carried out at national level in the fields of nuclear safety, security, safeguards and non-proliferation. JRC will continue to play a central role in nuclear training and knowledge management and open access of its nuclear research facilities to the EU scientists. The JRC will also ensure support to the EU’s and its Member States’ policies in these fields.
Finally, the Programme puts emphasis on Europe’s nuclear expertise and competences through mobility, education and training (cf. Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions) as well as dissemination and technology transfer.
Enhancing our knowledge on nuclear energy and finding new areas to use this expertise in is critical for the European Union: Despite the potential risks of nuclear energy, it is still one of the most effective means of energy production and allows for low-carbon energy production. Hence, creating and supporting such research and training programmes will only help the Union. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network) urges all its partners working in the energy sector to closely follow any developments in this regard.
Source: European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation Newsroom