Physicists of the University of Granada, Antonio Peña and Javier Praena, attend 6 high schools of the province of Granada and present the energy problem and the importance of this project as a milestone in the path towards fusion energy

The informative sessions, part of the DONES-Prep project, are being developed by the University of Granada and OnGranada Tech City

What is nuclear fusion? What is the use of a particle accelerator? What impact will IFMIF-DONES have on Granada’s economy? These were some of the questions posed by high school students in the province of Granada during the informative sessions organised by the University of Granada (UGR) and OnGranada Tech City within the framework of the DONES-Preparatory Phase project (DONES-PreP).

Since last February, physicists from UGR have attended six informative sessions in which approximately 300 students learnt about the IFMIF-DONES project from a scientific and socioeconomic perspective. These sessions have taken place at CEIP Cristo del Rescate (Escúzar), IES el Temple (La Malahá), IES Alba Longa (Armilla), IES Hermenegildo Lanz (Granada) and Colegio CajaGranada (Granada). Another 10 sessions have been scheduled for the upcoming months, giving students the possibility to broaden their knowledge about the scientific facility that will be built in Escúzar (Granada).

According to Antonio Peña, Director of the IFMIF-DONES Implementation Office and Senior Lecturer of Electrical Engineering at UGR, the contents of these sessions have been carefully designed to achieve objectives such as raising awareness about the role of energy in our everyday lives, understanding the ways to produce energy, with particular emphasis on nuclear technology, the differences between the concepts of fission and fusion as well as the pros and cons of each of them. Finally, the IFMIF-DONES Project was presented as an essential milestone towards fusion energy and the role youth will have in this project. The contents were adapted to the different age groups, and they included anecdotes and possible real-life applications to bring science closer to students.

The DONES-Prep project, funded by the European Commission and led by CIEMAT, is the preparatory phase of the IFMIF-DONES project, in which financial, legal and essential organisational aspects of the construction and operation phases related to the international character of the project are addressed. DONES-PreP also seeks to establish consortia among its participants and other interested parties, increase the involvement of governments, research councils and funding agencies, prepare medium- to long-term budget forecasts, evaluate technical alternatives and the possible impact of the facility in terms of socioeconomic benefits as well as to prepare legal agreements for governance, internal rules and financial aspects.