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Fusion Reactor Waylaid by Latest Waves of Covid Pandemic

  • ITER reactor faces delays to testing and higher costs
  • $22 billion project had planned to start testing in 2025
Construction of poloidal field coils which will be part of the magnetic system that will contribute to confine and model plasma during the launch of the assembly stage of nuclear fusion machine of the ITER in Saint-Paul-les-Durance,  France, on July 28, 2020.

Construction of poloidal field coils which will be part of the magnetic system that will contribute to confine and model plasma during the launch of the assembly stage of nuclear fusion machine of the ITER in Saint-Paul-les-Durance,  France, on July 28, 2020.

Photographer: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP/Getty Images

The world’s biggest science project is facing higher costs and testing delays after recurring waves of the Covid-19 pandemic snarled supply chains.

The $22 billion International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, under construction in southern France is being funded by 35 countries. They’re counting on the reactor to prove whether limitless quantities of clean energy can be generated by mimicking the power that makes stars shine -- a potential panacea to slow global warming on Earth.