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    World’s Largest Fusion Project Is in Big Trouble, New Documents Reveal

    The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is already billions of dollars over budget and decades behind schedule. Not even its leaders can say how much more money and time it will take to complete

    By Charles Seife on June 15, 2023

    It could be a new world record, although no one involved wants to talk about it. In the south of France, a collaboration among 35 countries has been birthing one of the largest and most ambitious scientific experiments ever conceived: the giant fusion power machine known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). But the only record ITER seems certain to set doesn’t involve “burning” plasma at temperatures 10 times higher than that of the sun’s core, keeping this “artificial star” ablaze and generating net energy for seconds at a time or any of fusion energy’s other spectacular and myriad prerequisites. Instead ITER is on the verge of a record-setting disaster as accumulated schedule slips and budget overruns threaten to make it the most delayed—and most cost-inflated—science project in history. . . .


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