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EU rebuffs UK attempt to continue collaborating on nuclear fusion experiment

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The European Union has denied the UK's request to continue participating in the Iter nuclear fusion project as a non-member, insisting that rejoining the Euratom civil atomic programme is essential for continued collaboration
• The UK had left Euratom following Brexit and seeks an outside partner status similar to Australia, which maintains a cooperation agreement with Euratom

🔭 The context: The UK's exit from Euratom was based on its assessment of not receiving sufficient value for its contributions
• It has since sought re-entry into other EU research schemes but stopped short of rejoining Euratom
• The Iter project is crucial as it represents the world’s largest attempt to build a commercially viable nuclear fusion reactor

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Nuclear fusion holds the promise of providing a vast amount of low-carbon energy
• As the world transitions towards sustainable energy sources, technologies like those being developed in the Iter project are critical for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and combating climate change

⏭️ What's next: The situation has reached a critical point as the existing contracts for UK scientists in Iter are set to expire in August
• Without an agreement on rejoining Euratom, the UK risks losing its collaborative ties and scientific contributions to this major international energy project

💬 One quote: "The UK participated in Iter as part of Euratom and it should do so on that basis if it wants to remain involved," stated an EU official

📈 One stat: Fusion for Energy, managing the EU’s contributions to Iter, has a budget of €1.4 billion covering 2021-2025

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