Euratom research and innovation programme receives funding

06 July 2021

The European Commission has adopted the Euratom Work Programme 2021-2022, implementing the Euratom Research and Training Programme 2021-2025, which complements Horizon Europe. The Work Programme outlines the objectives and specific topic areas that will receive EUR300 million (USD355 million) in funding.

(Image: European Commission)

The Euratom Research and Training Programme aims to: improve and support nuclear safety, security, safeguards, radiation protection, used fuel and radioactive waste management and decommissioning, including the safe and secure use of nuclear power and of non-power applications of ionising radiation; maintain and further develop expertise and competence in the nuclear field within the EU; foster the development of fusion energy as a potential future energy source for electricity production and contribute to the implementation of the European fusion roadmap; and support the policy of the EU and its Member States on continuous improvement of nuclear safety, safeguards and security.

The programme uses the same instruments and rules for participation as Horizon Europe. The budget is EUR1.38 billion to implement the new programme for the period 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2025. The Council of the European Union adopted the regulation establishing the Euratom Research and Training Programme for 2021-2025 on 12 May.

"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 Commission said.

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 ITER project and to advance demonstration power plant 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 steps to ensure that the EU will maintain nuclear competencies through two important education and training topics. In addition, nuclear scientists will be eligible to participate in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action calls for Postdoctoral Fellowships under Horizon Europe.

The 2021-2022 Euratom calls for proposals were published on the EC's Funding and Tenders Portal on 2 July, followed by the opening for applications on 7 July.

"The Euratom Research and Training Programme for 2021-2022 will prepare us for the future," said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. "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."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News