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Department of Energy Recommends Continuation of ITER

In a report to congressional budgetmakers, the Department of Energy recommended that the US should continue its participation in ITER through 2018. ITER is an international program to build and operate a magnetic fusion device to test the viability of nuclear fusion as an energy source. ITER began in 2005, and is based in the south of France. Along with the US, the other members of the ITER program are the European Union, China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Russia. All members contribute to funding the construction and operation of the ITER facility. The cost of this program has been higher than predicted. In FY 2017, the Department of Energy requested $125 million for the ITER effort. In FY 2018, they requested $230 million. The House of Representatives has agreed to continue funding ITER by cutting Department of Energy research for biology and the environment. The Senate wants to eliminate all funding for ITER and increase funding for other Department of Energy programs. See: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/us-should-stick-troubled-iter-fusion-project-secretary-energy-recommends.

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