ASSOCIATION EURATOM - UNIVERSITY OF LATVIA (AEUL)
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The European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) is an international semi-independent organisation of the European Union (EU). It was established on 25 March 1957.
The purposes of EURATOM are to create a specialist market for nuclear power and distribute it through the Community and to develop nuclear energy and sell surplus to non-Community States. Its major project is currently its participation in the international fusion reactor (ITER). EURATOM also provides a mechanism for providing loans to finance nuclear projects in the EU.
The EU Member States, Switzerland and other countries which have associated to the EURATOM Framework Programmes participate in the European fusion programme. The principle tool used to implement this participation is the ‘Contract of Association’ between EURATOM and the Member States (or an organisation within a State) to create a ‘EURATOM Association’. These contracts are the mechanism by which EURATOM provides general financial support. They also allow EURATOM to co-ordinate the work of all the Association laboratories. This structure of EURATOM Associations has resulted in fusion research being fully integrated at the European level. This not only ensures that the research activities in the various Member States are co-ordinated and complementary, but also makes it possible to undertake projects that would be of too large a scale for any individual member.
The Latvian contribution to the European fusion programme began in 2000 in the form of cost-sharing actions (fixed contribution contracts with EURATOM). The Association EURATOM-University of Latvia was established on 19 December 2001 incorporating the existing cost-sharing actions into its work plan.
In 2014, 29 research organisations and universities from 26 European countries plus Switzerland signed the EUROfusion consortium agreement. In addition about 100 Third Parties contribute to the research activities through the Consortium members. EUROfusion collaborates with Fusion for Energy (Spain) and intensively supports the ITER International Organization (France).
EUROfusion funds fusion research activities in accordance with the Roadmap to the realisation of fusion energy. The Roadmap outlines the most efficient way to realise fusion electricity by 2050. It is the result of an analysis of the European Fusion Programme undertaken in 2012 by the Research laboratories within EUROfusion’s predecessor agreement, the European Fusion Development Agreement, EFDA.
At the same time Euratom aims to pursue nuclear research and training activities with an emphasis on continually improving nuclear safety, security and radiation protection, notably to contribute to the long-term decarbonisation of the energy system in a safe, efficient and secure way. By contributing to these objectives, the Euratom Programme will reinforce outcomes under the three priorities of Horizon 2020: Excellent science, Industrial leadership and Societal challenges.
The indirect actions of the Euratom Programme focus on two areas:
- nuclear fission and radiation protection
- fusion research aiming at developing magnetic confinement fusion as an energy source.
The Euratom Programme puts a strong emphasis on developing nuclear skills and competence. This will allow Europe to maintain world leadership in nuclear safety and waste management and to attain the highest level of protection from radiation. In particular, the Programme will be carrying out research in the medical uses of radiation, for the benefit for all European citizens.
Annual Reports summarise annual fusion research activities.