Rising costs hit EU’s nuclear dream

– A sad business this.   Fusion is one of the few possibilities out that that is almost all benefit and little downside.   Imagine a world with nearly unlimited power.

– But, the problem with short-term and long-term thinking, in which humans are so poorly balanced, has led us away from this goal again and again.   And, now that we’re reaching the limits of the current petroleum-based energy systems, we’re going to find out the hard way what this lack of long-term focus is going to cost us.

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The cost of an ambitious international nuclear fusion project has trebled in three years, scientists say, prompting fears the work may be scrapped.

At the same time, financial crises have beset all the nations involved in the project.

As a result, construction of the International Thermonuclear Experiment Reactor (Iter) at Cadarache in France has been pushed back from 2015 to 2019, and more delays are likely.

Some scientists say there is a risk that the entire project could be cancelled. The original price tag was €6 billion. ($11 billion). The latest estimate is €18 billion.

Because it is hoped that fusion plants could one day supply the world with cheap, non-polluting power, the crisis facing Iter is a substantial threat to plans to tackle world energy and climate problems.

– More…

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