Iter criticised by EU on funding

6 April 2016

International nuclear fusion project Iter failed to justify its use of European Union (EU) funding in 2014 to the satisfaction of the EU's Budgetary Control Committee, the European Parliament announced on 4 April. The committee criticised Iter for growing costs and delays, and said that the project's reports on budgetary and financial management "lacked coherence" and were often incomplete. Iter was one of three joint private sector-EU technology projects to fail the committee's "discharge test", part of the EU's formal accounting procedure. The European Parliament will make a final decision on postponed discharges in September.

In March, Fusion For Energy (F4E) and its suppliers completed production of the European share of the conductor used in Europe's 10 toroidal field (TF) coils for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) under construction at Cadarache in France. F4E, the organisation administering Europe's contribution to the Iter project, said 20km of conductor has been produced and all sections are being delivered in stages to the ASG workshop in Italy where the TF coils are being assembled. Iter will have 18 TF coils. These superconducting magnets will create a powerful magnetic cage where the superhot plasma will be kept away from the walls of the Iter vessel. Europe is responsible for the production of 10 TF coils, nine of which will be used in the machine and one kept as spare. The remaining nine will be manufactured by Japan.

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