Comparing notes: ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot speaks with Mark Herrmann, Director of the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who was also a ''witness'' at the 6 March Congressional hearing.
Of course, cause and effect is never that simple: it would be a mistake to characterize the 6 March hearing as the sole basis for the ITER funding increase. But as ITER Director-General Bigot commented, the increase can be taken as "a strong positive signal," especially since it represents bipartisan consensus across both houses of Congress. Critically, as Bigot notes, "If the $122 million is properly applied, we should be able to avoid any delays to the ITER schedule in 2018."
On a broader note, it is also worth noting the increases to overall US science funding as part of the same legislation. The Department of Energy's Office of Science, which had requested about $5.347 billion for FY2018, was allocated about $6.260 billion, a sizable increase. Within the Office of Science, Fusion Energy Sciences also increased sharply, from the $310 million requested to about $570 million. Additional details can be read here
. (For Fusion Energy Sciences and ITER, see page 40).