The Fusion Technology Facilities (FTF) are taking the UK’s fusion expertise into the age of power plant delivery. They will enable industrial partners to test prototype components in the conditions found inside fusion reactors – getting a head start in the commercialisation of fusion energy.
The FTF labs will provide 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 2020/21, located at complementary UKAEA sites at Culham Science Centre and at the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley, Rotherham.
FTF will 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
FTF 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.
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
FTF also encompasses Culham’s 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. It also offers a service to other areas of science and to industry.