The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project is in hot water with the European Parliament for failing to manage EU funds properly. The Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee MEPs this week advised against approving 2013 spending by ITER personnel due to delayed disbursements and growing budget costs. …

  1. Gordon 10


    Arent these the same people who have NEVER had their accounts signed off?

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Hypocrites

      It must be bad for the Euro-gravy people to complain.

    2. The Mole

      Re: Hypocrites

      If I remember right it is the European Commission not the European Parliament who are ones with the reallly dodgy accounts. I've always thought that Peter Mandelson must have really felt at home in the commission..

      That said I'm sure the quality of the European Parliament accounts and expenses claims are superb...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hypocrites


      The European Court of Auditor, which is an independent body, signed off EC accounts every year between 2007 and 2013. They certified them as legal, regular and reliable as well as free of material error.

      They did criticise an error rate of about 5% in the 2013 budget, but errors are NOT fraud, instead its where EU money is spent without applying the appropriate regulations. And almost all of the errors were caused by national governments, not the EU.

  2. theOtherJT Silver badge

    Oh just give them a blank cheque already.

    Yes, that's right, lets further delay something important the world desperately needs. If everyone would stop trying to score political points off it and just concentrate on BUILDING THE DAMN THING it wouldn't be so far over budget!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh just give them a blank cheque already.

      If your happy for your taxes to go on someone's yacht and holidays, feel free to donate every penny you have. I don't thanks.

      1. Someonehasusedthathandle

        Re: Oh just give them a blank cheque already.

        Then let's have an "independent"(1) committee to audit their accounts instead of people trying to score political points.

        Or better yet make it scientists who at least understand that "shit happens" on these projects, but not MEP's who ultimately have an agenda.

        (1) - It's very hard for this word to make sense anymore, somebody always seem to be on the take from somebody.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what have ITER done or not done ?!

    The story states that the European Parliament has compained about ITER not managing funds properly, but it does not state what exactly ITER has done, beyond a "delayed disbursements".

    Fill in that bit and you might have a proper story.

    1. Oninoshiko

      Re: So what have ITER done or not done ?!

      I would think not having done anything would be a serious waste of funds... I'll be happy to not do anything for half the price!

  4. MD Rackham

    Of Course

    ITER scientists claim that successful financial controls are just 15 years away.

  5. Gordon 10

    Sucessful Fusion

    Of many bank notes into a few.

  6. The last doughnut

    Well its kind of like a big expensive power-hungry doughnut. We pump in money here - and - er - ah yes you see that faint glow? That's fusion right there! Cool isn't it?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a shame ITER has turned into a mess and been used as a political football. I know we've been saying fusion power is just 50 years away for 50 years but if you look at the findings of the last decade I think we are, at long last, probably quite close. We're at the stage where creating and confining a plasma is hard and in terms of energy output we are getting close to break even. There's certainly a way to go still but none of it looks like it would be a show stopper.

    I've been following the ITER project for years and like a lot of big government projects it seems to have suffered from stagnation and too many leaders. It's never really felt like the goal was to build a fusion power plant it was always to understand this or that aspect of fusion power generation which is a much harder sell.

    1. phil dude

      visited JET...

      I have visited JET (not far from Oxford). A truly amazing technological achievement, worth of those original Dr Who episodes with the many monitored control room where the TARDIS lands...

      Oh and for all those that think the 50 years away prediction was unwise, please remember that the physics was done years ago. It just took that long for the computers to catch up and model them!!!

      I'll get my coat...


  8. David Pollard


    If governments in Europe had not shied away from fission and hadn't spent quite so much on subsidies which don't actually keep the wheels of industry turning, then we'd be a good deal richer with more to invest in research.

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    And despite all

    this , in 25 yrs time when the scientists finally go "Huzzah, it works", no one will want one built near them because it has the word 'nuclear' on the side of the can.

    And green peace et al will be against it because they like shivering in the dark when the wind stop blowing at night.

    As a post script, the US congress bitched like hell at the cost of Hubble and its servicing missions. anyone remember the names of the nay sayers?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: And despite all

      "And green peace et al will be against it"

      Oddly enough there's an item on the Beeb news site saying that the Green party wants 1% of GDP spent on science. That really puzzles me seeing that they object to so many of its products.

      1. phil dude

        Re: And despite all

        If you made science 10% of GDP, 9% would be for things that were tangential to the subject studied.

        It is a problem with politics. Companies can focus and ignore diversity. Govts can be diverse and choose to focus.

        The problem is politicians want to choose winners so they can be popular.

        Political groups like the Green Party want to choose losers.

        I don't know the solution, just the current system is, well....


  10. Nelbert Noggins

    At first quick glance I thought it was a 3D rendering of someone's idea for their latest water cooled gaming rig... which would explain a lot about why it was felt their was an issue with how funds were being managed...

    I think it's long overdue beer time...

  11. johnwerneken

    Proof of the intolerability of democratic decision making

    Voting should be limited to replacing the dastards in charge, not allowed to decide anything that matters Who cares if the checks are late or too big. Did not these fools know that both would happen, when the insisted on cost sharing and control sharing, rather than rational competition-to-the-death that historically works so well to produce progress? Idealists out to be strangled at birth, so should believers, regardless of belief.

    ITER was set up in the first place not because it made sense, but because it could be sold, sort of, to the publics in the few places capable of getting this done. The Europeans, not one of those few, ought to sit down and shut the fook up.

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