An international project to generate energy from nuclear fusion has reached a key milestone, with half of the infrastructure required now built. Bernard Bigot, the director-general of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter), the main facility of which is based in southern France, said the completion of half of the project meant the effort was back on track, after a series of difficulties. This would mean that power could be produced from the experimental site from 2025. The effort to bring nuc lear fusion power closer to operation is backed by some of the world’s biggest developed and emerging economies, including the EU, the US, China, India, Japan, Korea and Russia. However, a review of the long-running project in 2013 found problems with its running and organisation. This led to the appointment of Bigot, and a reorganisation that subsequent reviews have broadly endorsed. However, there are still political difficulties. One is that US president Donald Trump’s administration is notably cooler on clean energy research than its predecessor, and the US budgetary contribution, of nearly 10%, or more than $1bn, is now partially in doubt. The EU is providing 45% of the cost of the project, with the rest provided by the other main partners.

Guardian 6th Dec 2017 read more »

ABC News 6th Dec 2017 read more »

ITER, an international project to build a prototype nuclear fusion reactor in southern France, said it is facing delays if the Trump administration does not reconsider budget cuts.

Reuters 6th Dec 2017 read more »


Published: 7 December 2017