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Journal Article

Nature and Prospects of the EURATOM Fusion Programme

D. Palumbo
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Vol. 322, No. 1563, The JET Project and the Prospects for Controlled Nuclear Fusion (Jun. 29, 1987), pp. 199-211
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/37751
Page Count: 13
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Nature and Prospects of the EURATOM Fusion Programme
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Abstract

The seriousness of the energy problem and the attractiveness of providing mankind, through the use of nuclear fusion, with a potentially inexhaustible and environmentally friendly new fuel, was already obvious in the 1950s. We were aware of the formidable scientific and technological difficulties that lay ahead and that a long-term effort would have to be sustained through all possible fluctuations of an economic and political nature; this is what motivated us to establish a common European Fusion Programme more than 25 years ago. This programme designed, in conformity with reiterated Council decisions, to lead to the joint construction of prototype reactors (provided that they appeared feasible) has absorbed the fusion activities of the member countries and has even attracted two non-member countries to join. The main results obtained in the associated European Laboratories will be briefly reviewed. A full-size test of the efficiency of the programme is the creation of JET. In fulfilment of our task we are now operating JET and preparing the Next Step, NET, two strictly linked activities, with support to both from a number of associated laboratories. For the reasons listed above there is hardly another research area that is more suited than fusion for world-wide international cooperation, and in this respect the EURATOM programme is particularly attractive mainly because of JET. The suitability of such a cooperation could become even more manifest for the Next Step, which is a much more sophisticated and expensive device than JET.

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