The world's biggest bet on fusion, the ITER nuclear fusion reactor, may finally be getting over its money troubles. Delegates from ITER's seven international partners agreed in July on a new budget for the construction of the experimental reactor. They estimate that the total costs of the machine and its facilities, slated for completion at Cadarache in southern France by 2019, will tally about 16 billion, or US $21 billion. When the partners signed the original ITER agreement in 2006, they estimated the construction costs—in 2010 currency—at just 5.2 billion (US $6.9 billion). But tweaks to the original reactor design, coupled with rising prices for building materials, have inflated budget projections, inviting some criticism from scientists who say the money could be better spent on nearer-term green-energy R&D. Under the new budget agreement, the European Union will contribute no more than 6.6 billion (US $8.7 billion) to construction costs. Each of the six other member countries will be responsible for delivering about 1.5 billion worth of hardware—conductors, coils, shields, power supplies—instead of cash. Now that ITER's budget issues are settled, construction crews can start putting pickaxes in dirt.
NRC Opposes European Moves to Tighten Nuclear Safety Post-Fukushima
Belgium’s top nuclear regulator and an independent corrosion expert say all nuclear pressure vessels should be inspected after flaws are detected at two Belgian power plants. The NRC is unmoved.
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Modifying the most common type of experimental reactor might finally make fusion power feasible
Vattenfall Seeks $6 Billion in Compensation for German Nuclear Phase-Out
International investment law put to a multi-billion dollar test
Nuclear Shutdowns Put Belgians and Britons on Blackout Alert
Multiple reactor shutdowns in Belgium and the U.K. are a reminder of the potential brittleness of power systems reliant on a small number of large generators
Japan One Step Closer to Nuclear Restart
Regulatory agency approves Sendai plant restart though public remains wary of nuclear power
European Project Aims to Build World's Most Powerful Neutron Source
The European Spallation Source will have gigantic proportions
Silicon Valley Goes Long on Nuclear Fusion
Valley venture capitalist explains investment in Helion Energy
Survey: Climate Experts Favor Retiring Coal, Keeping Nuclear
Given the choice, climate experts would kill off coal or sequester its emissions
How Far Can Crowd-funded Nuclear Fusion Go?
A net-roots campaign to finance alternative fusion research shoots for the moon
Renewables Up, Nuclear Flat in French Energy Plan
President Hollande follows through on vow to slash nuclear's contribution of power generation by 2025. Renewables will fill the gap.
Construction of Ice Wall Begins at Fukushima Daiichi
Underground barrier of frozen soil will keep groundwater out of reactor buildings
Fusion Stellarator Starts Up
Alternate design to ITER might ultimately be better for generating electricity
UPower's Truck-Size Nuclear Power Plant
UPower Technologies thinks mini-nuclear reactors could power remote locations cheaper than diesel generators
Monitoring Nuclear Fuel With Sound
Self-powered thermoacoustic sensors that run on heat gradients could give operators fuel rod measurements
From Three Mile Island to Fukushima Daiichi
How IEEE Spectrum covered two of the biggest nuclear disasters in history
Dismantling Fukushima: The World's Toughest Demolition Project
Taking apart the shattered power station and its three melted nuclear cores will require advanced robotics
Living with Fear in Fukushima
Residents of Fukushima Prefecture wonder if it’s safe to resume their lives