Project Management Institute

Fusion confusion

One issue long commanding global attention--one that should surpass national boundaries but which political power struggles often hinder--is the search for alternative energy sources to replace our dependence on coal, gas, and oil. But when jobs and revenues are at stake, humans often quickly lose sight of the big picture. This article examines this challenge by analyzing the ITER project, a scientific initiative--involving the world's superpowers--to harness nuclear fusion as an energy source. It discusses the political obstacles impeding the construction of ITER's much-needed nuclear installation, noting that the main problem is ITER's lack of a single project manager with the authority to mediate stakeholder interests and the skills to keep this project on-track. It details how the stakeholders--China, Japan, South Korea, the Russian Federation, the United States, and the European nations--cannot, now that jobs and money are on the line, agree on a location for ITER's facility. The article suggests that st
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