The European Commission (EC) on 2 July adopted the Euratom Work Programme 2021-2022, implementing the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025. The Work Programme outlines the objectives and specific topic areas, which will receive €300 million in funding. These investments will support fusion research, and help to foster progress in a wide range of areas, from further improving nuclear safety and radiation protection, to boosting non-power applications of nuclear technology. The Work Programme contributes to the EU's efforts to further develop technological leadership and promote excellence in nuclear research and innovation. This year’s calls have a particular focus on the medical field, directly supporting the priorities of the EU’s Beating Cancer Action Plan and the SAMIRA Action Plan.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The Euratom Research and Training Programme for 2021-2022 will prepare us for the future. I am pleased that the new work programme seeks to increase the coordination with member states through partnerships and move beyond traditional energy issues of great importance, such as nuclear safety, to also tackle societal concerns like health and education.”
In fusion, the Euratom Work Programme sets a clear strategy for EUROfusion - the European Consortium for Development of Fusion Energy. The strategy aims to ensure the success of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) under construction in Saint-Paul-lès-Durance in southern France and to advance the follow-on demonstration power plant (DEMO) preparations. The Fusion Partnership will deliver the necessary knowledge, will prepare European teams for the exploitation of ITER and will provide the training of a new generation of fusion scientists and engineers.
In fission, the Euratom Work Programme will ensure the highest standards of nuclear safety of power plants, research reactors, materials and fuels. These activities also include radioactive waste management and decommissioning, such as the European Joint Programme on Radioactive Waste Management – EURAD and the Radiation protection European Partnership.
In education and training, the new Work Programme takes decisive steps to ensure that the EU will maintain nuclear competencies through two important Education & Training topics. In addition, nuclear scientists will be eligible to participate in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action calls for Postdoctoral Fellowships under Horizon Europe.