The Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) hosted the liaison committee meeting with representatives of the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility and Demonstration Oriented Neutron Source (IFMIF-DONES) project. The project representatives presented the start-up strategy to the regulator during the meeting. They plan to apply for licensing of their first facilities in June 2026 and commissioning three years later.
During the meeting, the participants reviewed the progress made in the permanent working group maintained by the regulator and the consortium, the Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (Ciemat) and the University of Granada.
The president of the CSN, Juan Carlos Lentijo, attended the meeting, chaired by the councillor Francisco Castejón and co-chaired by the councillor Elvira Romera. It was also followed by the director general of Ciemat, Yolanda Benito; the president of the Spanish consortium, Ángel Ibarra; and the head of project safety, Francisco Martín-Fuertes.
The objective of this committee is to prepare all aspects of the licensing of the future scientific facility that must be reviewed before the operation phase of the infrastructure. The regulator’s role is vital and demonstrates Spain’s capacity to license this unique facility at the world level regarding nuclear safety and radiation protection.
The IFMIF-DONES consortium was created in June 2021 through a collaboration agreement between the General State Administration (Ministry of Science and Innovation) and the Ministry of Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge and Universities of the Regional Government of Andalusia. Its purpose is to investigate the behaviour of different materials that could be used in future nuclear fusion reactors. The DONES project is a smaller version of IFMIF. In addition, DONES is being designed to fulfil all the capabilities of IFMIF. At this stage, the project aims to develop the necessary R&D and engineering activities to start construction of the facility.
According to its statutes, the consortium’s objective is to contribute to the European Fusion Programme through the design, construction, equipment and operation of the IFMIF-DONES facility. The consortium manages and promotes its member entities’ scientific, economic, technical and administrative collaboration and holds the ownership of the scientific-technical infrastructure built and financed with its resources.
This scientific facility will be located in the Granada municipality of Escúzar to validate materials suitable for fusion energy. Its construction began in 2022, its commissioning is planned for 2029, and the first results are expected to be obtained in 2035.
Text and photo: Nuclear Safety Council