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The CEA is the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. It is a public body established in October 1945 by General de Gaulle. A leader in research, development and innovation, the CEA mission statement has two main objectives : To become the leading technological research organization in Europe and to ensure that the nuclear deterrent remains effective in the future.

Focusing principally on technological research, CEA has always relied on fundamental research known for its excellence in both physical and life sciences. This fundamental research accounts for about one third of the organisation's activities and contributes to all its activities - defence, energy and information and health technologies.

Controlled thermonuclear fusion could produce a virtually infinite source of energy. CEA is performing experiments in conjunction with Euratom on the Tore Supra tokamak with superconductor magnets. This machine installed at Cadarache is used for a study programme of the technologies and physical processes necessary to produce long duration plasma discharges. In 2003, the CEA teams set a new world record with Tore Supra by extracting 1000 Megajoules of power for 6.5 minutes. But a new installation has to be built to demonstrate scientifically energy produced by fusion : this is the aim of the international ITER project.