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The technology centre for tomorrow’s fusion reactors.

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.

Tests at the Fusion Technology Facilities

Benefits

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 capabilities

FTF test rigs can validate fusion components under combined thermal, mechanical, hydraulic and magnetic loads.

Programme areas include:

CHIMERA

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.

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CHIMERA
HIVE

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
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Materials Technology Laboratory

The Materials Technology Laboratory is the vanguard for fusion materials development in:

  • Advanced materials testing and characterisation
  • State-of-the-art small scale sample testing
  • Leading design codes and standards for fusion
  • Extreme environments materials design and selection
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Materials testing experiment
Optical Viewport Process Inspection

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.

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