Sauthoff: U.S. ITER team ‘quite confident’

sauthoffEnergy Secretary Ernest Moniz reportedly requested and received more time to prepare his department’s status report on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor and make recommendations for U.S. involvement in the project’s future. That report is now to be delivered to congressional appropriators on May 12.

Funding for the U.S. participation in the international project has been a topic of controversy, especially in the Senate. The initial markup of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill in the Senate zeroed out funding for the project in FY 2017, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he was anxious to hear from Moniz before pushing forward on a new path.

The U.S. ITER team is based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Ned Sauthoff is the director. Asked if his team was on pins and needles awaiting a decision on the future work on ITER, Sauthoff replied:

“Actually, our team is quite confident given the excellent U.S. team performance and ITER Director General’s turn-around of the ITER Organization in France.”

Besides the United States, other partners in ITER are India, European Union, China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

Photo of Ned Sauthoff/ITER

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.