ITER Fusion Project Generative Ai

ITER Fusion Energy Project: ‘Record-setting Disaster’

From MasterResource

By Kennedy Maize — July 25, 2023

“With each passing decade, this record-breaking monument to big international science looks less and less like a cathedral—and more like a mausoleum.” — Scientific American

The 35-nation International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, advertised as “the way to new energy,” has hit another snag. “The world’s biggest fusion experiment,” Bloomberg reported, “faces new delays and potentially billions of dollars in extra costs after defective pieces and broken supply chains disrupted the reactor’s construction in southern France.”

It was bad news at the 32nd annual meeting of the ITER, with a bland press release describing activity but little else. “Council Members reaffirmed their strong belief in the value of the ITER mission and resolved to work together to find timely solutions to facilitate ITER’s success.”[1]

The week before the meeting, Scientific American exposed problems in the article, “World’s Largest Fusion Project Is in Big Trouble, New Documents Reveal.” The article by veteran science writer (and mathematician) Charles Seife, based on internal ITER documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed this year, reported.

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.

Documents prepared for a ITER council meeting last year, Seife wrote, showed

at the time, the project was bracing for a three-year delay—a doubling of internal estimates prepared just six months earlier. And in the year since those documents were written, the already grim news out of ITER has unfortunately only gotten worse. Yet no one within the ITER Organization has been able to provide estimates of the additional delays, much less the extra expenses expected to result from them. Nor has anyone at the U.S. Department of Energy, which is in charge of the nation’s contributions to ITER, been able to do so. When contacted for this story, DOE officials did not respond to any questions by the time of publication.

ITER (Latin for “the path”) issued an intentionally bland news release June 22, following the meeting of its governing council at the headquarters in St Paul-Lez-Durance. Bloomberg parsed the press statement and focused on its statement that the council “requested the Director-General to continue moving forward expeditiously with preparation of the updated project baseline proposal for review and approval in 2024,” The review and approval of the baseline for the Tokamak magnetic confinement project was originally scheduled for 2023, Bloomberg noted.


ITER had its beginning in 1978 as a proposal for an international program to develop a Tokomak fusion project. While the project moved forward with little attention beyond technical circles, it burst upon the public scene during the 1985 Geneva summit between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.

In Geneva, the two major world leaders agreed to cooperate on fusion R&D, issuing a statement that said that “the potential importance of the work aimed at utilizing controlled thermonuclear fusion for peaceful purposes and, in this connection, advocated the widest practicable development of international cooperation in obtaining this source of energy, which is essentially inexhaustible, for the benefit of all mankind.” Reagan then touted the collaboration in a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

The U.S. then had an on-again, off-again relationship with the project as it evolved toward what became ITER. The U.S. pulled out of the planning in 1998, complaining that the projected $10 billion cost was excessive. When the planners scaled back to effort to $5 billion in 2002, the U.S. rejoined.

Officially launched in 2006, ITER is funded and run by seven member partiesChina, the European UnionIndiaJapanRussiaSouth Korea and the United States. The United Kingdom participates through EU‘s Fusion for Energy (F4E), Switzerland participates through Euratom and F4E, and the project has cooperation agreements with Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan and Thailand. Europe provides about 45% of the ITER funding.


ITER was originally funded at $6 billion, with an estimated date for fusion demonstration of 10 years. The current official cost estimate is $22 billion, although several unofficial estimates are in the $30-$45 billion range. The current operational estimate is 2025, although that figure appears to be fantasy.

According to the documents Seife obtained, ITER in November 2021 was already looking at a 17-month delay. “By the time of the June 2022 ITER Council meeting,” he wrote, “the number had doubled to roughly 35 months of delays—enough to easily add billions of dollars to ITER’s already bloated budget. But this timeline didn’t reflect other events bound to introduce even more delays.”

The project faces supply chain delays, faulty thermal shields, and manufacturing flaws that are out of specifications, according to Laban Coblentz, ITER’s communications chief.

The project also faces regulatory problems with the French Nuclear Safety Authority, which ordered ITER to stop assembling the fusion reactor in January 2022, raising doubts about the adequacy of the radiation shielding designed to protect workers. In its understated press release following the council meeting, ITER said updating the timeline will require “Close and effective engagement with the French regulator, Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN), regarding their questions related to the machine assembly ‘hold point,’ and ensuring mutual alignment on the way forward.”


In his Scientific American article, Seife suggested that ITER has come to resemble a Gothic cathedral: “a beautiful but immensely complex structure that we pray will help us find salvation from our energy and climate woes.” Then he rejected that metaphor, concluding, “With each passing decade, this record-breaking monument to big international science looks less and less like a cathedral—and more like a mausoleum.”


[1] The boiler-plate mission is as follows:

ITER—designed to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power—will be
the world’s largest experimental fusion facility. Fusion is the process that powers the Sun and the stars:
when light atomic nuclei fuse together to form heavier ones, a large amount of energy is released.
Fusion research is aimed at developing a safe, abundant and environmentally responsible energy source.
ITER is also a first-of-a-kind global collaboration. Europe is contributing almost half of the costs of its
construction, while the other six Members to this joint international venture (China, India, Japan, the
Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States), are contributing equally to the rest.
The ITER Project is under construction in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, in the south of France.

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Tom Halla
July 25, 2023 6:06 pm

All I can think of is cliches about committees. ITER has lost whatever purpose it may have had.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 25, 2023 8:53 pm

On the good news front, it’s Fusion sooo it should be up and running in Ten Years

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  Bryan A
July 25, 2023 11:52 pm

You forgot the “or less”. It’s been “ten years or less” for decades now.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
July 26, 2023 2:12 am

Fusion is the power of the future, and always will be.

Reply to  Graemethecat
July 26, 2023 3:49 am

Fusion as a man made process has existed and been massively in use since the invention of the so-called “hydrogen bomb” by Edward Teller in the 1940s. Fusion as a stationary power generating source has been the objective ever since. It is now getting close to reality as a viable power source, given that it’s already been done in a machine and proven to have produced more power than it consumed.

Fission power plant research begin in the first decade of the 20th century, and it was not until the early 1950s that a sustainable and useable power generation could be produced in a reactor. Commercial power in the late 1950s and early 1960s – half a century after the R&D began.

Reply to  Duane
July 26, 2023 4:49 am

Don’t get me wrong. I would love commercial fusion power to become available. I admire the aspiration and ingenuity.

I won’t be betting my pension on it though. Contrary to your claim that “it’s already been done[…] and proven to have produced more power than it consumed”, no such thing happened. They did get more energy out of the reaction than the laser delivered to the fuel. But they put much (much) more energy into the laser. As a system it was a massive net loss.

Bryan A
Reply to  quelgeek
July 26, 2023 6:23 am

Yep, the laser put in 2, the process produced just over 3 but it took more than 200 to power the laser

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
July 26, 2023 6:26 am

When I worked at AERE Harwell and shared hostel accommodation with people working at Culham in my first job no-one was prepared to estimate sooner than 50 years.

Reply to  Bryan A
July 26, 2023 3:30 am

But that’s too late. We only have 5 years left.


Bob B.
Reply to  Bryan A
July 26, 2023 3:53 am

Yes, fusion is a lot like CAGW in that it is always just 10 years away and wasting many $billions.

Reply to  Bryan A
July 26, 2023 10:41 am

Power so cheap, you won’t need to meter it.

michael hart
Reply to  Neo
July 26, 2023 11:53 am

Even as supporter of fusion research, it took me some years to take on board the understanding that even if the electricity at source costs zero, you still have to pay for the cost and maintenance of a grid to distribute it. The greenies are still stuck with this idea that wind and solar constitute “free” energy.

Having said that, I think fusion has been held back by just betting the farm on only one or two approaches. They need more diversity (how I hate that word) of thought. Not just the big-budget big-government approach to how the money is spent.

Plus some better accountants and managers employed in this particular temple of science.

Reply to  Neo
July 27, 2023 1:27 am

But we still get to eliminate 90% of the World’s population for Klaus the Lizard King, riiight?

old cocky
Reply to  BCBill
July 27, 2023 4:05 pm

The one true Lizard King was Mr Mojo Risin

D Boss
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 26, 2023 4:43 am

You mean like what do you get when you design a horse by committee?

A camel 🙂

Tom Halla
Reply to  D Boss
July 26, 2023 4:46 am

More like being a life form with more than one anus and no brain.

Reply to  Tom Halla
July 26, 2023 4:58 am

When you hear fusion….think instead Thorium Liquid Salts Cooled Reactors….Thorium Power baby….it can power the entire planet with cheap reliable safe electricity.

Kevin Kilty
July 25, 2023 6:09 pm

Fusion. More abundant alternative energy that requires coal to manufacture and is too expensive to contemplate.

Reply to  Kevin Kilty
July 25, 2023 6:44 pm


Joel O’Bryan
July 25, 2023 6:30 pm

The entire effort is now just yobs project for physicists and engineers. the science rationale behind the original break even fusion hopes of ITER is long past. Tokamak complexity and costs of Magnetic confinement of fusion-capable plasma to produce energy to heat to generate steam for electricity is recognized a dead end for commercial scaling. ITER is a self-licking ice cream cone, its exists as a toy for its own enjoyment with no benefits to the greater cause of finding a viable path to commercial scale fusion powered electricity.

John DeFayette
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 25, 2023 6:44 pm

Don’t worry, there are lots of jobs—entire careers—for hundreds of bureaucrats and administrators, too!

Bryan A
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
July 25, 2023 8:59 pm

Self licking ice cream cone reminds me of this

Reply to  Bryan A
July 26, 2023 8:15 am

Does it include a laugh track audio?

July 25, 2023 6:35 pm

It’s just grift all they way down.

July 25, 2023 6:35 pm

They just can’t get it together……

Curious George
Reply to  JBP
July 26, 2023 8:18 am

There seems to be a high voltage power line to bring the power in, none to get the generated power out.

July 25, 2023 6:41 pm

I was offered laser fusion work at both Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Labs in 1975 when laser induced fusion was merely “a decade or two away”. I declined. I wonder how much taxpayer money has been spent over 50 years and how much more will be spent.
I have little confidence the concept will ever be practical.

Curious George
Reply to  czechlist
July 26, 2023 8:34 am

To do the same thing again and again and hope for a different outcome is .. what?

July 25, 2023 6:44 pm

It’s easy to throw rocks at a costly long term project like ITER. It’s not driven by warmunism but the desire for abundant low cost low risk energy production.

Just keep in mind that the Manhattan Project cost over $2 billion in 1942-1945 – equivalent to more than $60 billion in 2023. While it successfully produced a handful of very crude nuclear weapons in time to help end the Pacific war in August 1945, the program was severely criticized by the military establishment as a massive and unnecessary boondoggle – and also created a massive environmental pollution problem that DOE is still trying to clean up 80 years later. Yet, it did the job that needed doing to end a world war and help prevent any repeat world wars since then.

John DeFayette
Reply to  Duane
July 25, 2023 6:55 pm

Believe me, magnetic plasma confinement is not the same as a controlled fission reaction. The Tokamak will not work.
Well, it might, but Elon will have to build one in the vacuum and zero G of space….

Reply to  John DeFayette
July 25, 2023 11:15 pm

The wonder of genius is the doing of the impossible.

The Real Engineer
Reply to  JHD
July 26, 2023 2:25 am

The sign of foolishness is doing the same thing more times expecting a different result!

The Real Engineer
Reply to  John DeFayette
July 26, 2023 2:24 am

The amazing part is that magnetohydrodynamics (the behaviour of a plasma in a magnetic field) is known, the most major part is that plasma flow is entirely chaotic, as it moves the fields all change and this changes the motion etc. Basically it says that it is not possible to confine a plasma in a magnetic field. If the sun works in the way described, it controls its plasma reaction by a gravitational field, but there are huge continuous chaotic movements on the surface, sometimes with sunspots! Surely that is the best demonstration that this concept cannot work?

Reply to  John DeFayette
July 26, 2023 3:30 am

Dude – I know the difference too, as I was a Navy nuke and civilian nuclear power plant test engineer for DOE. The criticism I responded to in this post was based upon the cost and time involved, as if all large and complex new technology development projects are boondoggles. Some may be, sure, but the most world-changing technology in human history was the same kind of large, complex projects that was not that lengthy only because its endpoint was being driven by a fear of the bad guys getting nukes first.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Duane
July 26, 2023 4:20 am

Tip o’ the hat from another Navy nuke and test engineer NS 0989-028-5000

Reply to  Duane
July 25, 2023 9:11 pm

Just keep in mind that the US sent astronauts to the Moon and brought them safely back within 10 years of President Kennedy declaring that goal. We are now 17 years since ITER was formally started in 2006 and the project has, figuratively, not yet “got off the ground”.

There comes a time when you have to realize that pie-in-the-sky is just that, pie-in-the-sky . . . and to cut your losses. In Dirty Harry’s (actor Clit Eastwood’s) words: “a man’s got to know his limitations”.

BTW, many military experts consider the on-going global war on terrorism to be the full equivalent of WWIII, just not being named such and not receiving such billing in the MSM.

Rich Davis
Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 3:22 am

Ongoing? Didn’t Brandon surrender last summer and hand over a gazillion dollars worth of equipment to the Taliban?

Reply to  Rich Davis
July 26, 2023 4:38 am

The abandonment of outdated war equipment is established tradition. Most of us blow it up or even bury it before we leave, but what the heck…can’t leave a stable society behind, eh what old chap? Just now them crazy ragheads might burn down our opium poppy fields!

Reply to  cilo
July 26, 2023 5:28 am

Strawman response.

Reply to  _Jim
July 26, 2023 11:13 am

With humility I try find that straw man, all I find is a snide reference to the US Army guarding London’s drug farms.

Reply to  cilo
July 26, 2023 6:02 am

Black Hawk helicopters are not the same as the Musket left on the battlefield during the Civil war.

Reply to  kotcher
July 26, 2023 11:11 am

Obsolete: No longer in use; outmoded in design, construction or style. See: Blackhawk.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Davis
July 26, 2023 5:50 am

Yes, Brandon surrendered in Afghanistan, throwing millions of innocent people to the wolves.

The terrorist groups that were previously suppressed in Afghanistan are now building up their forces again.

But we can’t monitor anything over there because Brandon gave up the Bagram air base which the Chicoms now happily occupy.

Brandon is such a loser! Unfortunately, his stupidity, causes all the rest of us harm.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 3:37 am

The US space program through the Apollo moon missions cost over $316.4 billion in 2023 dollars, 100% paid for by the US taxpayers. The US taxpayer share of ITER is less than $4 B, the rest being covered by the other national participants.

BTW “many military experts” are idiots. World War Two killed well over 70 millions of people, and reduced most of Europe and a good deal of east Asia into abandoned rubble. It totally commandeered the entire US economy for four years, costing more than 40% of GDP during that time, putting more than 16 million Americans into uniform. If any idiot believes that a few terror attacks killing less than 20 thousand persons over 20 years is equivalent to that, then they are indeed idiots.

Reply to  Duane
July 26, 2023 6:05 am

Yet, 9/11 was an attack on American soil with no equivalent in our history. For those who died in the World Trade Center, I am sure they disagree, as do their family and friends.

Reply to  kotcher
July 26, 2023 7:22 am

Ummmm . . . Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941?

But your main point is well made!

Reply to  Duane
July 26, 2023 7:18 am

“. . . a few terror attacks killing less than 20 thousand persons over 20 years . . .”

Well, considering the source of that statement, I won’t even bother to ask for data that such defines the extent of the global war on terrorism.

But in rebuttal I will offer this for consideration:
“During the War in Afghanistan, according to the Costs of War Project the war killed 176,000 people in Afghanistan: 46,319 civilians, 69,095 military and police and at least 52,893 opposition fighters.”
— ref:

Curious George
Reply to  Duane
July 26, 2023 8:40 am

I too don’t believe in the Precautionary Principle.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 4:33 am

US sent astronauts to the Moon and brought them safely back within 10 years

As time goes by, it is getting ever easier to fake cinematics, but the Amp meter at the output cannot be hypnotised by television. Could that explain the difference in results?
I’m joking, of course, Stanley Kubrick totally went to the moon….

Reply to  cilo
July 26, 2023 5:24 am

re: “As time goes by, it is getting ever easier to fake cinematics”

A little tougher to actually ‘make’ observable radio/telemetry/voice signals (complete with appropriate Doppler shifts) appear en route to the moon, orbit the moon, originate from several sources on the moon (this includes the suits for the space walks, the moon buggy, etc).

Reply to  cilo
July 26, 2023 7:26 am

How is it then that anyone with relatively inexpensive, unsophisticated equipment can beam a laser light at the Moon and detect its reflection from corner-cube reflector panels left on the Moon by Apollo astronauts that walked its surface?

Now, you were saying something about being hypnotized . . .

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 7:30 am

“Just keep in mind that the US sent astronauts to the Moon and brought them safely back within 10 years of President Kennedy declaring that goal. We are now 17 years since ITER was formally started in 2006 and the project has, figuratively, not yet “got off the ground”.”

Well, one subtle difference here is that in the latter case one cannot put a show on TV telling everybody it has been done.

Reply to  Someone
July 26, 2023 8:10 am

. . . simply because it hasn’t “been done”.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 8:22 am

It can be argued that the “Cold War” == WW3. It wasn’t cold for those of us that participated, and was definitely global.

Reply to  JamesB_684
July 26, 2023 10:06 am

…as long’s we all agree; the commies won.

Reply to  cilo
July 26, 2023 7:10 pm

I don’t think we can say with certainty either side one. About the best we can say is we ran the commies out of that area formerly known as the Soviet Union. Now where did they all go?

Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
July 27, 2023 2:06 am

Now where did they (commies) all go?

Reply to  Duane
July 26, 2023 10:05 pm

It’s remarkable that bombing Japan produced long term pollution issues in the US but not in Japan.

July 25, 2023 6:47 pm

We have perfectly safe and reliable fission reactor designs now.
In the 60s we were dreaming of nuclear-powered cars, hairdryers, and vacuum cleaners. You’d just need to exchange the fuel cartridge every year or so.
The greedy lying lawyers and fearmongering greens killed advancement in the field. They prefer bird-shredding wind and toxic land-eating solar power, instead.

Reply to  Tommy2b
July 26, 2023 3:41 am

Fusion power, since the earliest days of the Manhattan Project and before that (going back to Einstein’s original research in the early 1900s, is and always was the desired endpoint of nuclear technology. It is far safer and cleaner than fission power, and does not create extremely long lived very high radiation waste.

Fission power is a good option for now, but as soon as fusion becomes a viable replacement, it will replace most if not all of the fission power plants in the world.

None of this has the slightest thing to do with warmunism or CO2 or left wing ideology.

Reply to  Duane
July 27, 2023 8:08 am


Can you supply any credible evidence—any at all—the scientists participating in the Manhattan Project and going back as far as “the early 1900’s, had nuclear fusion power as a “desired endpoint of nuclear technology”, as you assert?

To the best of my knowledge, no such thing is documented in scientific writings/records from those time periods.

Einstein’s letter to President FDR, which basically kicked off the Manhattan project, only mentions fission:
“Einstein had written to inform Roosevelt that recent research on fission chain reactions utilizing uranium made it probable that large amounts of power could be produced by a chain reaction and that, by harnessing this power, the construction of “extremely powerful bombs” was conceivable.”
(copy of the actual letter from Einstein available at this website)

John DeFayette
July 25, 2023 6:48 pm

When I studied Nuc E in the 80’s fusion power was only thirty years in the future. Forty years later it’s only thirty years in the future. Sort of like peak oil.

Back in school when we looked at the unbelievably complex engineering parameters involved in magnetic plasma confinement I wrote this off as a scientific pipe dream. As in, too many hits on the bong.

Reply to  John DeFayette
July 26, 2023 3:42 am

Today it’s down to 10 years in the future as a deployable technology, with sustained nuclear fusion already demonstrated that creates more power than it consumes.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Duane
July 26, 2023 4:07 am

“Today it’s down to 10 years in the future as a deployable technology”.

This is a ridiculous statement to make. 50 years ago, I remember being told that commercial nuclear fusion was 20 years in the future. The rate of progress in nuclear fusion has been so glacial and the results so underwhelming that commercial nuclear fusion looks extremely unlikely this century. This also assumes that commercial nuclear fusion is possible at all.

Reply to  Bill Toland
July 26, 2023 11:08 am

This also assumes that commercial nuclear fusion is possible at all.

if you can fit a nuclear plant into a submarine, I see no barrier to corporate deployment of similar systems.
..except for the inevitable result of modern management practices, which uses maintenance funds for investment shenanigans. “Fixing machinery is not our core business”.
One just cannot trust something as dangerous as nuclear reactors to somebody with absolutely no connection to the population. How many more times must Baal Gates demonstrate what happens when you allow authority over life to faceless and judicially immune shareholders.
Wait until the mad bastards realise they can “save overheads” by bringing their asteroid mines closer to earth…

Reply to  Duane
July 26, 2023 10:55 am

…demonstrated that creates more power than it consumes.

Nooo, it sustained ouput for a few seconds, after GigaWatthours of energy was expended over a very long time. Once. After many tries.
The experiment you have in mind, has not even been replicated on the same machine, fogeddaboud another institution.
No better than one of them ‘magnetic motors’ perpetually about to be released upon the zero-point energy crowd.

Hoyt Clagwell
July 25, 2023 6:56 pm

This is a bit like season 10 of trying to find a treasure on Oak Island.

Reply to  Hoyt Clagwell
July 26, 2023 4:00 am

Yes, the fact that people have been searching for the treasure for the past 100 years is a bit of a clue. I’m pretty sceptical, I suspect that if there ever was a treasure it’s long gone.

Still, it seems the participants have discovered one kind of treasure – cunningly disguised as regular pay cheques from the TV company.

July 25, 2023 7:16 pm

Scientific American. So it’s a trustworthy report.
I wonder whether partner China is working for or against.
It doesn’t matter how long fusion takes, because fission will give us heaps of time – provided we expand fission soon enough and fast enough. And provided we drop wind and solar.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 26, 2023 3:26 am

It’s good that it doesn’t matter how long it will take, because sustained terrestrial fusion will only arrive when the red giant sun engulfs earth.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 26, 2023 4:25 am

Impeached by “Scientific American.” An oxymoron.

The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
July 27, 2023 9:11 am

Unfortunately, solar and wind will not be dumped any time soon. But it is likely, that out of necessity fission will be expanded to provide cheap reliable power, thus subsidizing wasteful activities like wind and solar. This way society will continue to function, while all of us will continue to pay involuntary green tax on saving the planet.

David S
July 25, 2023 8:02 pm

Looks like its time to invest in oil and gas companies.

Randle Dewees
July 25, 2023 8:04 pm

I guess one way to look at this boondoggle is it will only waste a fraction of the money the California high speed rail will consume.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Randle Dewees
July 26, 2023 3:35 am

Fusion is Climastrology’s “hope for the world to come”. Sacrifice and suffer today with inadequate energy and food. In the Fusion Paradise of Heaven on Earth it will all be worth it. We just have to save the planet for that glorious day! Offer it up brethren (and sistren, and non-cistren)!

Curious George
Reply to  Randle Dewees
July 26, 2023 10:03 am

Not “will”. Did – and continuing.

Randle Dewees
Reply to  Curious George
July 26, 2023 1:42 pm

I’m thinking of the end, as in when the boondoggles are well and truly over. When the hearts are staked, and the remains buried or burned, as appropriate.

The cost of ITER, up to now and projected, is large enough to be hard to comprehend. Yet it is for a cause that if it came to be it would be worthwhile. I don’t think it will work, but at least, on the face of it, it is a noble effort. Success in ITER leading to practical fusion generation would change the world.

The Kali high speed rail is a stupid pea digging POS fraud that would change nothing. Except the transfer of lots of tax dollars into the pockets of the Kali elite. If it is ever built, with a projected cost of >$100 billion (and climbing).

July 25, 2023 8:33 pm

Imagine what we could do if we didn’t have a collective fear of standard nuclear (fission) energy. We could build many more fission plants, use much of the energy to replace remaining coal plants, as well as get rid of unreliable bird-killing wind turbines. The nuclear energy wouldn’t be variable like wind or solar. We could use any excess electricity to perform electrolysis to mass produce hydrogen, and also utilize some energy for desalination plants. I would also argue that fission is much safer than fusion, which would rely on magnetic containment that you better hope never fails…

Reply to  johnesm
July 25, 2023 9:20 pm

Exactly . . just imagine what we could do if we could just forget about the lessons of:
— the Kyshtym disaster in Russia
— the Three Mile Island fiasco in the US
— the Chernobly disaster in the Ukraine/Soviet Union
— the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 12:32 am

The lessons have been learned.
1) Don’t rely on 1st generation Soviet reactor technology
2) Special precautions need to be in place for reactors built on/near fault lines
3) If there is a problem with a certain brand of relief valves known across multiple reactors, do something about it before it causes an issue

Even including these disasters, nuclear power accounted for far less harm to people and the environment than the dirty coal-fired plants of the same time period. Coal power has improved to be significantly cleaner, but fission power is also much safer and cleaner (and potentially cheaper) now, too.
Without the ridiculous cost of litigation insurance (everyone within 200 miles will tell you their cancer was caused by the power plant) and all the bureaucracy of environmental assessments and the like, fission power would be too cheap to meter.

Reply to  Tommy2b
July 26, 2023 3:34 am

This isn’t a 1st generation or whatever issue – Chernobyl and Fukushima reactors were literally decades past their design lifetimes.
It is the anti-nuclear industry that is as much responsible for these accidents as the plants/operators themselves – because of their militancy and lawfare making new ones almost impossible and ridiculously expensive to boot.

Reply to  c1ue
July 26, 2023 5:14 am

re: “literally decades past their design lifetimes”

Going strictly on empiricism (literally ‘observed results’; observation of actual purposeful operation), I’m going to call that statement erroneous if not outright false.

Reply to  Tommy2b
July 26, 2023 7:34 am

“More than two-thirds of the world’s 442 nuclear power reactors are more than 30 years old and are approaching – if they have not already surpassed – the end of their 40-year lifespan”

Causes me to ask: Have “the lessons”, in fact, been learned?

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 2:15 am

How many deaths were caused by those disasters?

Reply to  Graemethecat
July 26, 2023 7:41 am

Well, if you want to assess disasters only in terms of directly-attributable deaths, not that many. But in this regard how many deaths would YOU consider to be too many?

If you want to assess the extent of land area declared to be uninhabitable by the associated governments of the countries experiencing the listed disasters, well, “the Web can be your friend”.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 3:31 am

Amazing how the deaths that result from mining the metals and minerals needed for vast wind and solar PV projects don’t count. Maybe because they are brown people?
As for the dangers of nuclear waste:
3 guys broke into a nuclear waste storage site. They literally broke a drum of nuclear waste. Only one died because he literally put a radioactive cesium metal object in his pocket, and a family dog.
That’s the problem with uninformed people – they just don’t get that everything is a tradeoff. There are no magic solutions if you want 1st world energy access.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  c1ue
July 26, 2023 6:01 am

“Maybe because they are brown people?”

Oh, please!

How do you know ToldYouSo isn’t brown?

To tell you the truth, I don’t know the color of the skin of most people who post on this website, and I’ve been here a long time, and furthermore, I don’t care about the color of the people I interact with, all I care about is what they have to say. That’s the only thing that is important. Insinuating racism is not appropriate here. There is no evidence of racism here.

Reply to  ToldYouSo
July 26, 2023 7:35 am

And of roughly 70 fission reactors in France, not one major accident.

Reply to  johnesm
July 27, 2023 9:25 am

Hydrogen as fuel is overhyped. Dangerous, difficult to compress and transport. Much better to stick with natural gas. After all, it is all natural and100% organic, what not to like?

July 25, 2023 8:57 pm

A “mausoleum” . . . nah, I believe the term “white elephant” is more fitting.

Also, I picked up on and have corrected typos found in the last paragraph under the subheading “Background” in the above article:
“ITER is funded and run by seven member parties: China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. The United Kingdom participates through EU‘s Fusion for Energy (F4E), Switzerland participates through Euratom and F4E, and the project has cooperation agreements with Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan and Thailand. Taxpayers in Europe provides about 45% of the ITER funding and the aforementioned countries provide all of the funding for ITER.

July 25, 2023 10:08 pm

Fusion will never power the grid

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Eben
July 26, 2023 6:04 am

Never say never. 🙂

July 25, 2023 11:04 pm

Only one thing worse than a government undertaking a massive project. A group of governments undertaking a massive project.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Shoki
July 26, 2023 1:15 am

They can’t even do ‘undertaking’ right.

Undertakers‘ bury things

Joseph Zorzin
July 26, 2023 2:41 am

Supposedly, aliens who have visited Earth have technology far beyond fusion. Today (Wednsday) there will be a Congressional hearing at 10 AM EST on the subject with 3 guests.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
July 26, 2023 7:30 am

Are the 3 guests aliens?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  HotScot
July 27, 2023 2:41 am

Even the mainstream media is covering this story. Check it out. The MSM doesn’t generally cover this story- the same way they don’t cover the truth about the climate- that there is no “emergency”.

July 26, 2023 2:41 am

Not bad value really, when one considers Ukraine has cost America alone over $100Bn in eighteen months and similarly gotten nowhere.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  HotScot
July 26, 2023 4:29 am

We speak here of US$ as a standard of value, ignoring the politicization of its valuation.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  HotScot
July 26, 2023 6:12 am

I think it’s more like $65 billion spent by the U.S. on military aid. The rest of the money spent is for humanitarian aid.

I think the Ukrainians have done quite well, considering Joe Biden’s slow-walking the delivery of military hardware. The Ukrainians would certainly have done a lot better with the required armaments.

The Russians have been digging in their defensive postions for months so they will be tough to break, but once the Ukrainians get sufficient cluster bombs, they will have the means to defeat these defensive positions of the Russians. Cluster bombs are devastating to troops in trenches.

The Ukranians will knock holes in the defensive positions, and then they will roll up the Russian defenses from their rear. It sure would help if they had F16’s to use in the battle, but Biden, the Appeaser, is taking his time supplying them.

So any delay in Ukraine’s success is due to Biden’s hesitancy.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 26, 2023 7:29 am

Ukraine had Soviet era cluster munitions from day one.

It’s another miracle weapon like the Javelins, Leopard tanks, Himars, Patriots, Turkish drones, Storm Shadow missiles, Challenger tanks (all 14 of them) and of course promises of F16’s, which can never be fulfilled, which made little difference to the progress of the Russians.

Meanwhile, in March 2022 Putin and Zelensky signed a draft peace treaty which included the complete withdrawal of Russia from eastern Ukraine. Biden despatched Boris Johnson in April to order Zelensky to tear it up and fight.

Now, anywhere between 250,000 and 350,000 dead Ukrainian troops later, Russia is still in Eastern Ukraine.

Who wanted this battle? Russia/Ukraine or the USA and the UK? And why?

Curious George
Reply to  HotScot
July 26, 2023 10:53 am

Always a pleasure to read well-informed unpublicized news.
I wonder why Biden did not dispatch Nicola Sturgeon?

Reply to  Curious George
July 26, 2023 12:00 pm

A camper van wasn’t quite the miracle weapon they needed then.

Peta of Newark
July 26, 2023 4:44 am

How nobody realised from the outset that it was not only thermodynamic insanity and would never work as they want it to.
Nobody is ever going to contain material at 100 Million Kelvin and especially stuff that exists inside a blizzard of high energy neutrons while its ‘burning’
Neutrons are The Ugliest and Most Viciously Radioactive pieces of work within this entire universe.

Even The Sun doesn’t burn Hydrogen in the way they propose. Not even Sol can do what they think it does.
Sol is a 2-stroke engine with a cycle length of 11 years – that’s what sunspots are all about.
What we see as sunspots are ‘puffs of smoke’ from what is effectively a ‘compression-ignition’ 2 stroke engine
Sol burns Hydrogen in batches and its huge size acts as a flywheel, averaging out each firing of the engine. Because of its size and density, each firing might take centuries to reach the surface – there will be layer upon layer of ‘smoke’ within Sol (like an onion) all gradually working their way to the surface.
If you want a fusion engine, you build a ‘conventional piston’ engine.
One that has a intake, compression, firing and exhaust strokes.
In that way you minimise (average) the pressures and the temperatures and so keep things ‘manageable’

And then to cap it all, they build an engine working at 100million Kelvin and proceed to throw 2 thirds of the energy away by raising steam.
Just that one little thing disbars these clowns from baby-sitting a pet bunny-rabbit let alone building a power-station of any description

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 26, 2023 5:03 am

Um, wasn’t the concept of fusion demonstrated with the H bomb though (or wasn’t the firing-off of the H-bomb sufficient to demonstrate Hydrogen fusion)? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

Reply to  _Jim
July 26, 2023 8:01 am

Ooops . . . see post below meant for PoN.

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 26, 2023 8:03 am

“Nobody is ever going to contain material at 100 Million Kelvin and especially stuff that exists inside a blizzard of high energy neutrons while its ‘burning’ “

“For every volt that an ion is accelerated across, its kinetic energy gain corresponds to an increase of temperature of 11,604 kelvins (K). For example, a typical magnetic confinement fusion plasma is 15 keV, which corresponds to 170 megakelvin (MK). An ion with a charge of one can reach this temperature by being accelerated across a 15,000 V drop. This sort of voltage is easily achieved in common electrical devices; a typical cathode-ray tube operates in this range.”

So, humans are already containing “material” (ions, electrons) in excess of 100 Million Kelvin . . . and have been doing so since invention of the high-voltage CRT. The old CRT TV set that you or your parents discarded long ago was performing this “impossible” feat.

This problem with achieving sustainable, controllable, beyond-breakeven, fusion power is related to confining the product of plasma temperature and plasma density, not just temperature.

Jan Kjetil Andersen
July 26, 2023 4:53 am

Fusion may eventually solve our energy need, but it is far away.

The ITER is not a prototype reactor, it a pure research reactor, the heat energy generated will not be converted to electricity, but simply vented.

The suggested prototype to follow has the name “DEMO”. The earliest time that may be operational is 2040, and most probably much later.

After that prototype has been duly demonstrated, we may start building real commercial fusion reactors.

July 26, 2023 4:56 am

There’s one serious misstatement of fact, or pure fiction.

ITER (Latin for “the path”) “

No it is not. ITER means “International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor”. The fabrication of Iter was developed to hide the “experimental” and “thermonuclear” parts of what it is.

July 26, 2023 5:06 am

Hydrogen Fusion is far from radiation free. Many of the same arguments against fission reactors still apply.

July 26, 2023 5:09 am

Meanwhile, YAAM (Yet Another Analytical Method) demonstrates the existence of a lowered-energy state of Hydrogen (termed a hydrino):

Electron paramagnetic resonance proof for the existence of molecular hydrino

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, ristvan.

Curious George
Reply to  _Jim
July 26, 2023 10:09 am

Hydrino is highly toxic, that’s why nobody is producing it.

Reply to  _Jim
July 26, 2023 5:33 pm

Just what the world needs . . . a lowered energy state of hydrogen.

July 26, 2023 10:13 am

Two issues.

  • Getting more energy out than is put in. I think that’ll be solved.
  • Containing the reaction. That will not be solved in our lifetimes, and those of our children, grandchildren, and grandchildrens’ grandchildren.
July 26, 2023 9:59 pm

BREXIT is such a tragedy, it puts Britain out of fusion funding.

July 27, 2023 8:42 am

ITER is pronounced as “eater”. In this case an eater of money.

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