Spain and Croatia sign IFMIF-DONES Agreement

Back row: (L-R) Their Majesties the Queen and King of Spain, and the President of the Republic of Croatia with his wife. Front row: (L-R) Diana Morant, Spain’s Minister of Science and Innovation, signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Radovan Fuchs, Croatia’s Minister of Science and Education, Zagreb, Croatia, November 2022 © IFMIF-DONES

IMIF-DONES is officially moving ahead. The ink has dried on the paper setting the terms of the new research infrastructure that will be constructed in Granada, Spain, to help scientists test materials for future fusion devices. The impact of this facility will be profound both in the fields of R&D and industry to improve their expertise in fusion technology. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between Spain and Croatia set the terms of collaboration between the two parties to establish the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility -Demo Oriented Neutron Source.

In an event that took place on 17 November in Zagreb, Croatia, Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain, the President of the Republic of Croatia and his wife, chaired the session of the Croatian-Spanish IFMIF-DONES Forum, confirming at their level the commitment of the two countries to invest in this joint initiative. Escúzar has been named as the construction site, and a series of campaigns have been flagged as apriority so that the scientific community uses the infrastructure to conduct experiments. Representatives from private and public entities were present to confirm their interest and express support to this initiative. The ambassadors in Croatia of the Czech Republic, Greece, Great Britain, Slovenia, Germany, Portugal, Bulgaria, Belgium, Japan, Ukraine, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria were also there to mark the significance of this agreement and get informed on ways that they could be involved.

The King of Spain
His Majesty the King of Spain addressing the audience during the IFMIF-DONES Forum, Zagreb, Croatia, November 2022 © IFMIF-DONES

The Croatian-Spanish IFMIF-DONES Forum also brought together representatives from already working in the fusion community. The Director of Spain’s IFMIF-DONES Consortium, Ángel Ibarra, and the Director of Croatia’s IFMIF-DONES Croatia Consortium, Tonči Tadić; were among those who highlighted the opportunities stemming from this partnership. Representatives from EUROfusion, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy, and Fusion for Energy (F4E) were also there. “The signature of the MoU between Spain and Croatia is an important milestone in the fusion roadmap towards DEMO, the device after ITER. F4E is one of the contributors to today’s achievement through its ongoing participation in the IFMIF/EVEDA project, which paved the way to DONES. F4E is also involved in coordinating the EU participation to this project,” explains Philippe Cara, F4E IFMIF-DONES Co-ordinator. IFMIF-EVEDA is one of the three pillars of the Broader Approach Agreement signed between Europe and Japan to foster R&D initiatives in the fusion.

Director of Spain’s IFMIF-DONES Consortium
Ángel Ibarra, Director of Spain’s IFMIF-DONES Consortium, explaining the fusion roadmap at the IFMIF-DONES Forum, Zagreb, Croatia, November 2022 © IFMIF-DONES

The Memorandum of Understanding states that Spain will provide 50% of the current cost estimate for construction, while Croatia will commit to providing components for the construction of IFMIF-DONES for a maximum value of 5%. F4E is also expected to contribute through the current EU multi-annual financial framework. Additional investments could come from interested parties inside or outside the EU.

A DONES Steering Committee will also be set up for the governance of the project involving the countries affiliated to F4E. In fact, Spain and Croatia have formally asked them to nominate representatives as members or as observers, depending on their commitment and involvement in the programme. Japan has also expressed the wish to participate given its interest in the project and involvement in the Broader Approach. The first meeting of the Steering Committee is planned to take place in March next year in Granada.