Brussels, 25 Apr 2005
Institutions in Slovenia and Poland have signed contracts of association enabling researchers in both countries to cooperate more fully in pan-European fusion energy research.
While the two Member States are already associated to the overall European atomic energy community (EURATOM) programme by virtue of their EU membership, full participation in fusion research is dependent upon contracts of association being signed with one legal entity in each country, which other national research organisations can in turn conclude agreements with.
The primary associates are the Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Modification (IPPLM) in Poland, and the Slovenian Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MHST). As part of the agreement, fusion research units will be set up in each country, and both nations also become members of the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA).
Given their strong scientific track record, the incoming research communities are expected to make valuable contribution to European efforts in fusion energy. Polish scientists will work to develop plasma diagnostics for European fusion devices, provide computational support for various plasma confinement concepts, and carry out materials research for fusion applications. The Slovenian contribution will focus on plasma-wall interactions, activation calculations and the development of materials for fusion technologies.
Alongside these specific work programmes, membership of EFDA also promotes general cooperation between its associated countries in the field of fusion technologies. Polish and Slovenian scientists will have full access to the Joint European Torus (JET) facility in the UK and will participate in international projects such as the ITER experimental fusion reactor.
Finally, associated countries also have the opportunity to take part in mobility and fellowship schemes that encourage the participation of young scientists in fusion research.