Five years of delay have been announced today to complete the experimental reactor Iter. It is a huge machine designed to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion. But it cannot be completed before the end of 2025 and with an extra € 4 billion funding from member countries.
The project aims to reproduce the thermonuclear reactions that take place in the core of the stars on Earth. It had officially started in 2005, but soon the end date of the works was moved from 2016 to 2020, and now to 2025.
The member countries of the project (European Union, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the USA) have agreed to allocate extra funding of 4 billion EUR and extend the deadline for turning on the machine to 2025. Iter is currently under construction in France, and aims to demonstrate the feasibility of producing energy in clean form thanks to the fusion of nuclei of heavy 'variants' of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium).