Princeton shutting down fusion experiment

May 27, 2008 6:09:23 AM PDT
Unexpected delays and cost overruns spur federal energy officials to cut off funding for a Princeton University fusion experiment.

The purpose of the experiment was to design a device to hold hot plasma inside magnetic fields to sustain a controlled nuclear fusion reaction.

Fusion reactions fuel the sun's power. And scientists believe the successful harnessing of fusion power could provide near-unlimited energy resources.

The construction project was being jointly run by the Energy Department, Princeton University, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

The U.S. Energy Department cut off funding after the approved $102 million cost of the project ballooned to $170 million and the completion date was pushed back a month to August 2009.