Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck Government Politics

Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER 225

Posted by timothy
from the costs-and-benefits dept.
Graculus (3653645) writes Budgetmakers in the U.S. Senate have moved to halt U.S. participation in ITER, the huge international fusion experiment now under construction in Cadarache, France, that aims to demonstrate that nuclear fusion could be a viable source of energy. Although the details are not available, Senate sources confirm a report by Physics Today that the Senate's version of the budget for the Department of Energy (DOE) for fiscal year 2015, which begins 1 October, would provide just $75 million for the United States' part of the project. That would be half of what the White House had requested and just enough to wind down U.S. involvement in ITER. According to this story from April, the U.S. share of the ITER budget has jumped to "$3.9 billion — roughly four times as much as originally estimated." (That's a pretty big chunk; compare it, say, to NASA's entire annual budget.)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Senate Budgetmakers Move To End US Participation In ITER

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @08:47AM (#47375213)
    Except everything we have now.

    Still I guess there are brown people that need killing, so something had to give.
  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @08:53AM (#47375263)

    It's not even that. The military is getting their budget cut the same as every other government agency. A more accurate statement would be:

    "Still, I guess there are budget hawks who need to get re-elected, so something had to give."

  • Bad Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @08:56AM (#47375275)

    3.9 Billion is the total US contribution for a project that won't be turned on until 2020 at the earliest. The correct comparison is 0.15 billion this year for ITER to 18 billion this year for NASA.

  • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:04AM (#47375315)

    It's not even that. The military is getting their budget cut the same as every other government agency. A more accurate statement would be:

    "Still, I guess there are budget hawks who need to get re-elected, so something had to give."

    Well that is not fair, the military's budget is so colossal that they should be cut at a much higher rate than everything else.

  • by sasparillascott (1267058) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:12AM (#47375359)
    Seems a little odd to have gone this far and then bow out. And spread over the decade or more this project goes on, the cost is very minor considering there might be some good takebacks from the project and most importantly the good will it will generate with our European friends who's public has just learned the U.S. is unrepentantly spying on all their citizens all the time (the good will might be worth it alone).

    Little quibble: "According to this story from April, the U.S. share of the ITER budget has jumped to "$3.9 billion — roughly four times as much as originally estimated." (That's a pretty big chunk; compare it, say, to NASA's entire annual budget.) "

    $3.9 billion is alot compared to NASA's annual budget (which is ~$17 billion) - but that $3.9 billion would be payed over more than a decade right? So for an apples to apples comparison its what the Administration was going to spend on ITER for this budget ($150 million) compared to NASA's budget (~$17 billion).
  • by benjfowler (239527) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:14AM (#47375379)

    Amusing, since if we crack economical fusion power, then we could completely avoid entanglements with said brown people in the first place. The amount of blood and treasure the West has to expend to secure secure energy supplies (and in the process, suck up to barely-literate savages who hate us), is staggering.

    You could take a quarter of what the US spends on the military in a single year, and build DEMO.

    In the greater scheme of things, ITER is a rounding error. I wouldn't be surprised if some Saudi foul play were involved.

  • Re:Bad Comparison (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:18AM (#47375407)
    THANK YOU! Not Annual cost but TOTAL cost. That's $3.9 Billion over a 44 year time span. That breaks down to $88.6 Million / year.
  • by Immerman (2627577) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:28AM (#47375477)

    >and in the process, suck up to barely-literate savages who hate us

    I think you've got cause and effect a bit confused there - most of those people are barely literate and hate us *because* we've been mucking up their country for so long in our efforts to secure energy and access to ancient religious sites.

  • by Zeio (325157) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:31AM (#47375517)

    As the 21st century began... human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest... the fastest reproduced in greater numbers than the rest... a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man... now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized... and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd... it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most... and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.

    Some had high hopes that genetic engineering... would correct this trend in evolution.

    But sadly, the greatest minds and resources... were focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections. Meanwhile, the population exploded, and intelligence continued to decline...

    Private Joe Bauers, the definition of "average American", is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, (he awakes 500 years in the future) he awakes in 2014. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed-down that he's easily the most intelligent person alive.

  • I'm sure that for the cost of the Iraq wars, the US could have converted all their energy to renewable sources or developed practical fusion power, thus never having to go to war over oil again.

  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:52AM (#47375697)
    France (and Germany) is negotiating with Moscow to broker a peace deal in Ukraine and the US does not want that: This threat is just pressure to make France reconsider. [ragingbullshit.com]. All power politics here, nothing to do with science and research or budget cuts. Expect more in the next few weeks (plus Sarkozy scandal is related but that is another story)
  • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:05AM (#47376431)

    The problem with the military budget is it never gets cut in sensible places. The people at the sharp-end get hit first, the VA gets hit, the bazillion-dollar do-everything weapon system nobody really needs or wants? Mysteriously continues.

    You could cut the military budget by a bunch and get a better military by cutting out the inefficency and corruption.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:16AM (#47376551)

    To be explicit about this, the Middle East as it currently exists - its borders, the ruling parties, the dominant social groups - were basically set out by European powers after the First World War with no particular regard for the actual social and political situation on the ground. The past century of instability has pretty much revolved around those boundaries attempting to return themselves to something approaching an equilibrium, and our own dogged efforts to stop that from happening.

    It's the Berlin Wall on a truly spectacular scale.

  • by LynnwoodRooster (966895) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @08:27PM (#47380795) Journal

    The budget is driven by non-defense spending - entitlements - which consume nearly every dollar in Federal Revenue that DC receives.

    When you say entitlement, it evokes a bunch of money-grubbing welfare queens who have more and more children to increase their federal benefit. The truth is that the largest portion of the budget (24%) is social security, which isn't a government handout - it is funded by working taxpayers who have paid into the system for their whole lives.

    Actually, social security isn't what you think it is [cato.org]. You have no right to anything in the fund, and your deposits are simply another tax to provide a wealth transfer. The funds paid in - especially today - simply do not cover outgoing expenses [factcheck.org]. What you pay in today covers about 80% of the money for other people - and it's a dropping percentage.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

Working...