Developing the engineering technology for tomorrow’s fusion reactors.
Our Fusion Technology team is taking the UK’s fusion expertise into the age of power plant delivery. We enable industrial partners to test prototype components in the conditions found inside fusion reactors – getting a head start in the commercialisation of fusion energy.
We offer a suite of testing facilities and capabilities for advanced engineering and manufacturing in the UK nuclear fusion industry and beyond.
Some of the facilities are already operating and more will open in 2021/22, located at complementary UKAEA sites at Culham Science Centre and at the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley, near Rotherham.
UKAEA Fusion Technology can assist UK engineering companies in:
- Winning contracts on international fusion projects such as the ITER experiment
- Contributing to the UK’s STEP power plant design project
- Trialling technologies for the wider nuclear industry and other related areas
Fusion Technology capabilities
UKAEA test rigs can validate fusion components under combined thermal, mechanical, hydraulic and magnetic loads.
Programme areas include:
CHIMERA is a unique component loading machine, designed to test component prototypes in the simultaneous extreme temperature, heat flux and electromagnetic environment representative of fusion power reactor conditions.
Applied Radiation Technology
Applied Radiation Technology (ART) is part of UKAEA’s Fusion Technology group, working to facilitate the advancement of fusion energy. ART has world-leading expertise and capabilities in nuclear research and related areas.
Joining and Advanced Manufacturing
The Joining and Advanced Manufacturing laboratory will lead the development of critical joining and manufacturing technologies to enable the delivery of fusion:
- Component design and manufacture for extreme environments
- High heat flux testing and experimental validation of modelling
- Repair strategies for manufacture and operation
- NDT and health monitoring for complex geometries, materials and conditions
- Cross sector innovation and technology transfer
Special Techniques Group
Fusion Technology also encompasses Special Techniques Group – a highly-skilled material joining facility. Special Techniques has more than 40 years of experience as an integral part of UKAEA’s nuclear fusion research programme.
Special Techniques has developed proprietary methods of diffusion bonding a very wide range of materials. These diffusion bonded windows are ideal for demanding applications in quantum systems, microscopy, spectroscopy and cryogenics.
UKAEA has unique multidisciplinary technical expertise and capability in fusion-related technology developed through many decades of R&D and operation of experimental fusion devices, including JET (Joint European Torus) and MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak). Our capabilities also extend beyond fusion to accelerators, fission, medical and detection applications.