produce its own nuclear fusion plant in the future.
“Coordinating so many different countries,
cultures and locations is a bigger challenge even
than the technology,” says Joseph Onstott, ITER’s
budget management section leader, Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, France. “Not everyone has the same
objective: Some want things done as quickly as
possible; others are more cost-conscious. It takes a
lot of discipline to oversee the schedule.”
As dozens of new nuclear reactors get built, hundreds of aging reactors will be decommissioned.
“Coordinating so many different
countries, cultures and locations
is a bigger challenge even than
the technology. Not everyone
has the same objective.”
—Joseph Onstott, ITER, Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, France, commenting on a project
to build the world’s largest fusion reactor, a project with seven country sponsors
ON THE VERGE OF VIRTUAL
Innovative journalism projects are looking to provide the news through a technology known more for
its video-game applications: virtual reality. The objective of these projects isn’t to entertain, however,
but to inform.
The Gannett Company, one of the largest media organizations in the United States, launched its first
project in June to create a virtual-reality news story. For the three-month US$20,000 initiative, the organization’s digital team partnered with a Gannett newspaper, The Des Moines Register, to develop an immersive 3-D version of a family farm in the U.S. state of Iowa. It was part of a larger story about changes in
“This is the way we, as journalists, are going to need to communicate to the Minecraft generation,”
Mitch Gelman, vice president, Gannett Company, Washington, D.C., USA, told Poynter. “Instead of
building fictional representations in this type of game play, we should be able to build factual non-fiction.”
Almost half of the 434 nuclear reactors cur-
rently operating—most of them in Europe, Japan,
Russia and the United States—are slated to be
decommissioned by 2040, at an estimated cost of
over US$100 billion, if not much more. The bud-
get for decommissioning projects involving just
two reactors in the U.S. state of California, set to
launch in 2016, will come to US$4.4 billion.
Teams overseeing these complex initiatives will
have to negotiate uncertainty around costs, given
the relatively limited global track record of dismantling and decontaminating reactors. In the past
40 years, only 10 reactors have been shut down.