ITER nuclear fusion project faces delay over Trump budget cuts

Jimmy 3x3 | 4 Views | 2017-12-06T13:31:09+00:00

PARIS (Reuters) - ITER, an international project to build a prototype nuclear fusion reactor in southern France, said it is facing delays if the Trump administration does not reconsider budget cuts.

ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot, in Washington for talks with the U.S. administration, said the U.S. contribution had been cut from a planned $105 million to $50 million this year and its 2018 budget cut from a planned $120 million to $63 million.

The United States has already spent about $1 billion on the prototype reactor and was scheduled to contribute up to another $1.5 billion through 2025, when the experimental fusion reactor is scheduled to run a first operational test.

“If we do not respect deadlines (for the first operational test) in the beginning, we cannot respect them in the end,” Bigot told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Reporting by Geert De Clercq. Editing by Jane Merriman

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