The National Compact Stellarator Experiment never made it out of the design phase. Credit: PPPL

The US Department of Energy has cancelled a major fusion experiment.

Based at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in New Jersey, the US$100-million National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX) faced construction delays and cost overruns (see Nature 449, 264; 2007) estimated in terms of years and tens of millions of dollars.

On 22 May, Raymond Orbach, the department's undersecretary for science, announced that NCSX would be terminated to free up funds for other fusion experiments, including ITER, an international $12-billion tokamak under construction in Cadarache, France.