ananyo writes "Are the knives coming out for ITER, the international fusion reactor project based in France? A Senate Department of Energy (DOE) spending bill, yet to be voted on, would cut domestic research for fusion and directs the DOE to explore the impact of withdrawing from ITER. The proposed cuts for domestic fusion research are in line with those proposed in the Obama administration’s budget request but come after the House of Representatives voted to boost ITER funding and to support the domestic programme at almost 2012 levels on 6 June.
US fusion researchers do not want a withdrawal from ITER yet but if the 2014 budget looks at all like the 2013 one, that could change. “They’re not trying to kill ITER just yet,” says Stephen Dean, president of advocacy group Fusion Power Associates. “If this happens again in 2014, I’m not so sure.”
The problems for fusion could be small beans though. The ‘sequester’, a pre-programmed budget cut scheduled to take effect on 2 January, could cut 7.8% or more off science and other federal budgets unless Congress can enact last-minute legislation to reduce the deficit without starving US science-funding agencies."
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