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International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) - Fusion for Energy (F4E)
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
28 December 2017
Last modified: 28 December 2017
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The organisation Fusion for Energy (F4E) carries out the tasks relating to the establishment of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Europe. F4E is tasked with producing the European parts of ITER, implementing the cooperation agreement entered into with Japan (Broader Approach, BA), and conducting research into the establishment of a fusion power plant for demonstration purposes (DEMO).

Description of activities:

ITER is a septilateral project (EU, Japan, Russia, USA, China, South Korea, India) to be implemented in Cadarache in the south of France. It seeks to demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility energy production using plasma fusion. After two decades of planning and negotiations, an international agreement was reached on the building of a reactor in 2006. According to the agreement, each partner supplies specific parts for the construction works (in-kind contribution) and contributes to the shared costs amounting to about 10% of the total costs. Expert researchers consider ITER an indispensable stage on the path toward the construction of a fusion power plant. The demonstrative fusion power plant is designed to be able to maintain plasma state under the working conditions of a real reactor, and it would be able to heat and regulate in 500 to 1000 second long impulses.

Each partner set up a Domestic Agency (DA) responsible for producing the ITER parts, and the ITER Organisation (IO) was set up by the partners together. The European DA was set up by the European Council as a joint undertaking under the name Fusion for Energy (F4E) in 2007. The organisation forms part of the EAEC, meaning that membership in the F4E is linked to membership in the EAEC.

The EU provides about 45% of the contributions to the construction of ITER, and the remaining contributions are provided by the other partners in equal proportions. The EU contribution to the construction of ITER was capped by the Council at EUR 6.6 billion, calculated at rates for 2008. According to the current plans, ITER is to begin its operations in December 2025 by passing the first plasma run, which separates the construction stage from the operation stage. This is an important milestone also because the costs are shared in different manners at the two stages.

The main documents of the organisation, including calls for proposals and financial provisions, are available on the F4E website:

Organisational framework:

The EU Member States exercise control over the F4E programme through the Governing Board.

Year of joining: 2007

Membership fee: EUR 33,200 for 2017, but the EAEC membership also results in relevant costs (according to Government Decree No. 112/2011 (VII. 4.), the entity responsible for EAEC is the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority – where Member States contribute in proportion to their GNP under Regulation 1150/2000 (EC)).

Hungary received a total grant amount of EUR 642,746 for F4E orders in 2016.

According to the founding document, membership fees are calculated into the F4E budget on the basis of contributions paid by the Member States two years ago, which is calculated from the financial contributions to the fusion research programme of the Community under the EAEC. Fusion-related research and development is carried out by the European fusion programme running under the EAEC, and it integrates the relevant research efforts of all Member States. This is the EUROfusion Consortium established under the aegis of H2020. The Consortium includes one member organisation from each Member State, which brings together, coordinates, represents the fusion programme of the given country toward the Consortium. For Hungary, this organisation is the MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics, which has been a centre for domestic fusion research and has been producing some 80 to 85 percent of the Hungarian contribution in recent years. Hungary pays approximately EUR 30 to 40 thousand per annum as administrative contribution. The fusion orders received by MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics, its spin-off enterprises, and other Hungarian businesses from other EAEC laboratories amount to some EUR 3 to 4 thousand per year.

Advantages of membership:

Some 70 persons are working on nuclear fusion research in Hungary, with resources covering the full-time employment of about 35 people. These people include scientific researchers and developer technicians holding university degrees in equal proportions. Some 80% of the work is carried out in the MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics, which is a member of the EUROfusion Consortium and the coordinator of the Hungarian fusion research programme. MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics is a full member of the programme, meaning that it can conduct researches in most of the European fusion facilities. The efforts focus on plasma measurement technics (diagnostics), plasma physics, and certain reactor technology components.

Hungary received a total grant amount of EUR 642,746 for F4E orders in 2016.


LORENCZ Kinga (NRDIO) is the Hungarian administrative delegate to the F4E Governing Board, the VERES Gábor (MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics) is the scientific advisor.


Fusion for Energy (F4E):

Updated: 28 December 2017
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