The European Parliament today voted in favour of a deal, giving the go-ahead for the release of the first tranche of additional funding for budget of ITER nuclear fusion project, totalling €650 million for 2012. The Greens have criticised the decision to allocate additional public funds to the ITER budget, which has expanded far beyond forecasts. After the vote, Green budgetary affairs spokesperson Helga Trüpel (MEP, Germany) said:
"MEPs have today rubber-stamped the deal to pour extra EU funds into the black hole of the ITER budget. With the commercial viability of nuclear fusion unclear - and certainly not a medium term option - the Greens believe no further EU funds should be channelled to the runaway budget of this project.
"With national budgets already under pressure, the priority for public funding should instead be to promote safe and sustainable technologies like renewables and energy efficiency, which will deliver a real economic impact and job growth in the short term. The Greens will continue to push for the exclusion of ITER from the EU budget."