Monday, August 2, 2010

Another infusion of funding into fusion?

I am visiting my in-laws and they subscribe to the Economist. There is an interesting and worrying article Expensive Iteration: A huge international fusion-reactor project faces funding difficulties.

The article begins
VIABLE nuclear fusion has been only 30 years away since the idea was first mooted in the 1950s. Its latest three-decade incarnation is ITER,...
It is worrying how the EU is considering diverting substantial amounts of other scientific funding towards ITER. The article ends

it is far from clear whether the best way of countering this trend in energy funding is to plough yet more money into the fusion project, with its vested political interests, at the expense of less prominent scientific endeavours.

It never ceases to amaze me how these big projects have such large cost over-runs and that the initial budgets were based on wishful thinking. Coincidentally, the same issue of The Economist has an article about the spiralling costs of the London Olympics.

1 comment:

  1. Bah. Why not just put all our money into developing black holes! I think the fusion guys are a bit out of touch with what's economically feasible.