Fusion megaproject confirms 5-year delay

20 Jun 2016   Nuclear

The ITER fusion reactor will fire up for the first time in December 2025, the €18-billion project’s governing council confirmed today. The date for “first plasma” is 5 years later than under the old schedule, and to get there the council is asking the project partners—China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States—to cough up an extra €4 billion ($4.5 billion). “It is expected, if there are no objections, that we can approve [the schedule] by November and then we can move forward,” says ITER director general Bernard Bigot. ITER aims to show that it is feasible to fuse hydrogen nuclei together to form helium and thereby release enough excess energy to make a viable source of power. To achieve that requires heating two hydrogen isotopes—deuterium (D) and tritium (T)—to temperatures above 100 million degrees Celsius. ITER will feature an enormous vessel to contain […]

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