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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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International Fusion Effort Finally Gets Go-Ahead, and a New Leader
28 July 2010 4:03 pm
As expected, the governing council of the ITER fusion effort today finally approved the project's so-called Baseline, the document outlining its design, schedule, and costs and confirmed Japanese fusion-scientist Osamu Motojima as the new director-general of the ambitious effort to harness the same energy source that powers stars. Although ITER's future site in Cadarache, France, has been cleared for some time, full-fledged construction has been delayed as fusion scientists wrestled with last-minute design changes and the project's seven international partners—China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States—tried to figure out how to deal with the soaring costs of building the facility. In particular, the European Union, which is responsible for 45% of ITER's costs, struggled to find enough money in its existing budgets as its member countries resisted pleas for additional funds. Despite the approval of today's Baseline, ITER members declined to make public an overall cost estimate for the project and calculating one is difficult as much of the construction will consist of in-kind contributions from various countries; some estimates, however, have suggested ITER will cost over €16 billion by the time it is built and achieves "first plasma," which is now scheduled for November 2019.