Trump Budget Cuts Delay Nuclear Fusion By Decades, 2025 Target Now Out Of Reach

Econotimes June 30, 2017

Nuclear Fusion Reactor.Steve Jurvetson/Flickr

Since being sworn into office, President Donald Trump has done everything in his power to undermine the progress of renewable energy. He backed out of the Paris Accord and is giving the fossil fuel industry preferential treatment. However, the current administration is proposing a budget cut that obstructs the development of Nuclear Fusion. Now, a truly sustainable future is even harder to attain.

Nuclear Fusion involves producing temperatures higher than the sun’s surface and sustaining it so that it keeps producing limitless clean energy. This is what the teams of scientists and engineers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in East Tennessee are trying to achieve, Bloomberg reports. By their estimates, Nuclear Fusion is attainable by 2025, plasma physicist Dr. Ned Sauthoff told the publication.

“It’s not just empty words, it’s actually a reality,” Dr. Sauthoff said. “The scientific principles have been demonstrated, and it’s a matter now of raising it to industrial scale.”

Unfortunately, the Trump administration is intent on slashing the budget that the researchers will get by less than half. This would effectively hamper progress and would delay research for potentially decades.

With the project being called the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), 35 countries are actually collaborating on making Nuclear Fusion a reality. These cuts are going to affect their work as well, thus putting the US even deeper in the hole of disdain in the view of the world.

Fortunately, ITER is not the only initiative that is hell-bent on achieving a truly sustainable future in the next few years. MIT engineers are hard at work to produce Nuclear Fusion by 2030, Inverse reports.

As Alcator C-Mod project head, Earl Marmar notes, aggressive pursuit into researching and developing the technology could potentially be enough to attaining sustained fusion in a decade or two. It’s just a shame that the current administration could completely derail this progress due to thoughtless budget cuts.