France has been chosen to host a billion-dollar international thermonuclear experiment. After an 18-month stalemate over whether Japan or France should host the project ITER, the Japanese finally bowed out on 28 June — in return for a hefty compensation package.

Scientists hope that, now the experiment's location has been decided, it could be up and running by 2015 (see ‘Securing the funds’). If all goes well, it will be the first fusion experiment that generates more energy than it uses.