The governments of Croatia and Spain signed an agreement on Thursday to strengthen collaboration in the project to install the particle accelerator in Granada, aimed at experimenting with ultra-resistant materials that can be used in a future nuclear fusion plant that generates electricity.

The signing of the memorandum took place at a scientific-business forum organized in Zagreb on the occasion of the official visit of the kings to Croatia on the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Spain.

Felipe VI, along with Queen Letizia, and the Croatian President, Zoran Milanovic, with his wife, Sanja Music, presided over the ceremony held at the State Archives of Croatia, where the Spanish Minister of Science, Diana Morant, and her Croatian counterpart, Radovan Fuchs.

Spain and Croatia agreed in 2018 to join forces so that the Ifmif-Dones particle accelerator would be installed in the town of Escúzar, 25 kilometers from Granada, where the first buildings and laboratories began to be built last September.

It is estimated that the start-up of the plant that contributes to obtaining clean energy through hydrogen particles will still take a decade.

The goal is to convince more countries to join the initiative, whose total budget is around 700 million euros, of which Spain contributes half, plus 10% of the operating cost -50 million per year- and Croatia, 5 %.

“This task requires a true multinational effort (…). The support of the EU is essential, but it also requires the involvement of member countries”, stressed the king in his speech to encourage other partners to bet on “efficient, clean, reliable and sustainable” energy represented by nuclear fusion with views to the future.

The particle accelerator is the most important scientific project that Spain will have and complements the ITER center that is being built in the south of France to reproduce the fusion reactions that take place in the Sun and other stars to generate energy.

In Granada, materials will be tested that can withstand the extreme conditions to which the components of the future ITER fusion reactor will be exposed, a project supported by thirty countries, such as China, the United States or Russia.

Felipe VI emphasized that Ifmif-Dones is “a brilliant example” of cooperation between Spain and Croatia and of the importance they attach to viable energies for the future.

The director of the Ifmif-Dones Consortium, Ángel Ibarra, also participated in the presentation, who assured that with the support of Croatia and the support that the EU can give, the project has a future as almost 80% of the budget is covered.

“There is no going back. You can go faster or slower, but it would be a total disaster if things didn’t work out,” Ibarra told reporters before the event.

The manager revealed that there are conversations with other countries interested in collaborating with the initiative, among which he cited Italy, Poland, Germany, France, Sweden and Japan.

In his opinion, the memorandum “will help the negotiation” and that “in the coming months there will be substantial progress.”

The Spanish delegation also included Francisco Cuenca, mayor of Granada, and Pablo Cortés, general secretary of the Junta de Andalucía, which contributes half of the money that Spain contributes -the other half is financed by the Government-