Amanda Solloway MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, was today at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy for her first major visit since becoming Science Minister.
The minister visited CCFE’s new fusion research device, MAST Upgrade, which is being launched later this year. She also visited the European JET facility – the world’s largest fusion experiment, which is hosted at Culham for scientists around Europe.
She also saw some of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s other research facilities at Culham. The minister learnt how UKAEA’s Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) centre is helping a range of industries to benefit from robotics techniques that were pioneered at JET.
Lastly she had the chance to visit the £12 million Oxfordshire Advanced Skills apprenticeship centre, opened last autumn, and to meet some of the apprentices who are being trained there for local hi-tech and engineering employers.
The minister spoke of her mission to bring science to life and get the public excited about science. To mark International Women’s Day this coming Sunday, Mrs Solloway posed for photos with female scientists and engineers from UKAEA during the visit.
Head of CCFE Prof Ian Chapman said: “It was a great pleasure to show the minister around and discuss our strategy for developing fusion as a sustainable, low-carbon energy source. She had the chance to meet many of our enthusiastic scientists and engineers, and it is clear that she shares their enthusiasm and optimism for UK science and innovation.”