The Regional Government of Andalucia progresses in the creation of the Consortium to support the construction of the international scientific infrastructure in Andalucia
The Governing Council in Andalucia has requested the Regional Department for Economic, Knowledge, Business and University Affairs to start with the creation of the Consortium with the Ministry of Science and Innovation. This Consortium will undertake the preparation activities for Granada’s candidacy to host the particle accelerator IFMIF-DONES. This action demonstrates the Regional Government’s commitment to the project, who will contribute €16.3 million as an investment towards the preparation and construction of the facility.
The Regional Government believes it is a strategic project and an opportunity to transform the region into a national and international knowledge and research reference, especially with regards to the search of sources of energy different from coal and oil.
For this reason, the Regional Government has supported Granada’s candidacy from the beginning of the current legislative term. In March 2019, the Regional Department for Economic Affairs decided to increase their participation from 33 % to 50 % in the future Consortium with the Spanish Government. In addition, over the end of the last tax year, it financed through the University of Granada a series of activities related to the accelerator, such as the creation of a Technical Office to strengthen the candidacy, with a €265,500-subsidy.
Later, an additional €1.75 million transfer was done to the University to cover infrastructure costs for IFMIF-DONES, reaching a total sum of €2.01 million regional contribution in 2019. A future contribution of €14.28 million is expected from the Regional Government towards the construction of the facility.
This regional contribution represents 50 % of the public investment towards the project, with the Spanish Government covering the remaining 50 % and an overall investment of €32.6 million, co-funded by ERDF funds.
The statutes that will govern the Consortium between the Regional Government and the Ministry of Science and Innovation, which will require the signing of an agreement, are well advanced. Should Spain’s candidacy succeed, the Consortium would be extended, and it would be in charge of supporting Spain’s and Andalucia’s responsibilities as hosts of the international infrastructure. It will also provide support in the construction of IFMIF-DONES in the town of Escúzar, in the province of Granada.
This particle accelerator is a joint initiative between Spain and Croatia which has the full support of the European Fusion Program, Fusion for Energy (F4E). The aim is to construct a neutron source to qualify the materials to be used in future nuclear fusion reactors. This is an international initiative complementary to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), an experimental reactor being constructed in the South of France, which has the aim to achieve a source of energy based on nuclear fusion for commercial purposes. IFMIF-DONES is, therefore, an essential step in the path towards developing this new source of energy, cleaner and unlimited, to reduce the world’s energy dependency.