Monday, June 09, 2008

ITER Faces Cost Hikes And Delays

ITER hasn't been built yet, but already planners are warning of additional costs and a possible 3-year delay. (Link may be available without subscription only for a limited time).

Construction has not even begun on the ITER fusion reactor, which has been beset by political wrangling since its inception. Now its seven international backers are to be told they will have to come up with an extra €1.2 billion–1.6 billion (US$1.9 billion–2.5 billion) on top of its current €5-billion construction budget if the project is to be realized.

A report from a group of scientific advisers says the additional money is needed for critical design changes and for coordinating between the participant nations. And the experiment, already delayed, will not be completed until anywhere from one to three years after its current 2018 due date.

I guess some of the added costs are understandable. They had to incorporate earthquake safety for the building at Cadarache, which was not included in the original estimates because that was done before a site selection. Still, this is approaching (if not already overtaking) the ILC cost.


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