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Commission adopts corrected Iter budget for 2012

The European Commission has adopted a draft amending budget to finance the €650-million budget overruns of the fusion experiment Iter during 2012.

This practical step follows a deal reached last month between the European Council and Parliament to plug the project’s €1.3-billion funding gap in 2012 and 2013—without asking member states for an additional contribution (see RET 2 Dec 11).

Firstly, €100 million will come from the regular Iter budget as part of the agreed EU’s 2012 budget, and €360m will be earmarked in the EU’s 2013 budget. Another €450m will be shifted from the agriculture budget 2011, and €390m from the administration budgets in 2011 and 2012.

Iter, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, aims to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion as an energy source. It is funded by the EU, the US, Japan, South Korea, China, India and Russia and being built in Cadarache, France.