The Consortium strengthens Spain’s candidacy to host the international scientific infrastructure
The Agreement foresees €1.5 million in funding between 2020 and 2023, covered 50 % by each of the signatories

The Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque, and the Regional Minister for Economy Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities of the Regional Government of Andalucía, Rogelio Velasco, signed last June 9 the agreement to establish the Consortium that will support the candidacy and construction of the scientific infrastructure International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility -Demo Oriented Neutron Source (IFMIF – DONES) in Spain, as well as to manage R&D projects in this field.

This step strengthens Spain’s proposal to build this facility in Granada, a joint initiative between Spain and Croatia which has the full support of the European Fusion Program. The aim is to host the IFMIF-DONES neutron source, a unique scientific infrastructure that will allow to qualify the materials of future fusion reactors, particularly for ITER.

The IFMIF-DONES project is developed under the framework of an ambitious program that the European Union is implementing to develop fusion as a source of energy, in an international cooperation with China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States, partners in ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor).

The signing took place at Palacio de la Madraza in Granada, and the Minster of Science and Innovation confirmed that this Consortium strengthens Spain in the negotiations to build this infrastructure in Granada and the commitment to the project.

The European partners have agreed that the facility, if built in Europe, will be constructed in Escúzar. The Minister thanked CIEMAT for the leadership shown to achieve this milestone as well as the University of Granada for their cooperation on the technical activities. The Minister also complimented the great cooperation spirit between administrations, which is ‘essential in strategic projects ’.

In this case, it implies the participation in a project with an extremely high social and economic value. ‘The construction of a strategic facility as IFMIF-DONES is a great opportunity to boost Granada and Spain ‘, stated the Minister.

The Council of Ministers authorised last December the signing of the Agreement by which the funds devoted to the period 2020-2023 rise to €1.5 million, covered 50 % by the Spanish Government and 50 % by the Regional Government of Andalusia. A total of 16.3 million had been authorised previously by the Spanish Government through CIEMAT for the DONES-PRIME project, focused on the preparatory activities for the siting of IFMIF-DONES and related laboratories, €13 million of which are funded by the Spanish ERDF Pluri-regional Operative Program 2014-2020. Should Spain’s candidacy succeed, the Consortium would be extended. As the host country, Spain would therefore provide support to the international organism created for the construction of IFMIF-DONES.