The largest nuclear fusion project is delayed due to a broken component

Cracks in a key silver-coated component are causing new delays and cost overruns on a $23 billion project to demonstrate whether nuclear fusion can produce Clean energy without limits.

The European Union, together with countries such as China, India, Japan, Russia and South Korea, funds the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), which is still under construction in South Africa. France. This largest experiment in the world aims to demonstrate that simulating the energy that makes stars shine can produce clean energy that will slow global warming on Earth.

But the reactor’s new director general, Pietro Barabaci, warned members this week that the project is facing problems that could be “widespread”, as well as new demands on time and money that “will not be negligible”.

The project has faced unexpected challenges over the past 12 months. Once the project began organizing pandemic-affected logistics, Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine complicated the supply of critical Russian-made components. In May, the project manager, Bernard Bigot, who had been responsible for it for a long time, passed away. The first task of his successor, the Italian engineer Barabashi, was to investigate the problems that would prevent the reactor from operating in 2025.

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