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Hundreds of former staff gathered to mark the achievements of the Joint European Torus (JET) in progressing nuclear fusion. The project has been a positive example of international collaboration, those attending were told, and the European Union hopes the UK will rejoin its Euratom and Fusion4Energy programme from 2028.

Date: Friday, 01 March 2024
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The Joint European Torus (JET) at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA’s) Culham facility has performed its final experiments, marking the end of 40 years of groundbreaking experiments. JET delivered pulse number 105,842 on 18 December over four decades after it delivered its first pulse on 25 June 1983. UKAEA CEO, Professor Sir Ian Chapman, who was present for the final plasma experiment, said: “This is the final milestone in JET’s 40-year history. Those decades of research using JET by dedicated teams of scientists and engineers have played a critical role in accelerating the development of fusion energy.”

Date: Wednesday, 03 January 2024
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European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson says the European Commission (EC) is to establish an Industrial Alliance focusing on small modular reactors (SMRs) in early 2024. In June, the EC set up a European SMR pre-Partnership to identify enabling conditions and constraints for the safe design, construction and operation of SMRs in Europe in the next decade and beyond. It looked at compliance with the EU legislation including the Euratom legislative framework.

Date: Friday, 10 November 2023
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Opening the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 29th Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2023) in London, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi began by wishing a happy 40th anniversary to the Joint European Torus (JET) which operates at Culham near Oxford. Jet was “the first tritium experiment in Europe, breaker of scientific records, producer of generations of accomplished scientists and engineers, and a true magnet for international collaboration,” he said.

Date: Wednesday, 18 October 2023
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The UK Government announced that UK researchers can now apply for grants and bid to take part in projects under Europe’s Horizon science R&D programme. The UK will be participating as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the programme to 2027. UK membership. The announcement also stated that the UK will associate to Copernicus, the European Union’s (EU's) Earth observation programme. However, it will not associate to the Euratom Research & Training programme (Euratom R&T) and by extension, the Fusion for Energy (F4E) Programme although there is an agreement to cooperate specifically on nuclear fusion.

Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2023
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A four-legged robot designed for autonomous operation in challenging environments has been put through its paces at a depth of more than 400 metres in the tunnels of the Onkalo underground used nuclear fuel repository near Olkiluoto, Finland.

Date: Saturday, 02 September 2023
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The UK government says its preference remains reaching agreement with the European Union to participate in the Horizon Europe, Euratom and Copernicus programmes, but has also published a prospectus for its "bold and ambitious alternative" plans.

Date: Tuesday, 27 June 2023
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The European Commission says that its approval of the changes to the contracts for the Paks II project in Hungary was "strictly limited to its competence under the Euratom Treaty and is without prejudice to any further assessment based on other legal bases".

Date: Wednesday, 31 May 2023
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Commissioner Mariya Gabriel says bloc facing global competition in development and deployment Mariya Gabriel: ‘The EU is facing international competition in the race to develop and deploy SMRs.’ The European Commission has announced the signing of a declaration that commits to ambitious plans for research, innovation, education and training for the safety of European small modular reactors, which are “a promising option” to replace old coal power plants and to complement renewables.

The declaration was signed on Tuesday (4 April) by Europe’s commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth Mariya Gabriel, the Brussels-based industry groups nucleareurope and the European Nuclear Society, the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform and European Nuclear Education Network.

“Today, we are committing to continue to lead research, innovation, education and training for the safety of European SMRs,” Gabriel said.

“We need to optimise member states’ coordination on SMRs, to attract the best talents in the field and to develop the most advanced and safe nuclear technologies.”

Date: Wednesday, 05 April 2023
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