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News Picks : ITER's US bill balloons

By: Charles Day
11 April 2014
Science: In 2027, if all goes to plan, the ITER nuclear fusion reactor will begin burning a magnetically confined mix of deuterium and tritium. Reaching that goal entails building the machine and its associated infrastructure, a task that began in 2008 and whose cost and duration have both steadily increased. Although the US is a minor partner in the project, the US contribution constitutes a significant fraction of the country's budget for fusion research. That contribution is set to rise. According to a newly released estimate, the US bill will come to $3.9 billion—roughly four times higher than the previous estimate of three years ago. As Adrian Cho reports for Science, the numbers are likely to intensify calls for the US to abandon the project.


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