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A group of three members of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee welcomed UK progress in fusion energy following a visit to UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) last week.

Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, Katherine Fletcher, MP for South Ribble and Stephen Metcalfe, MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, experienced a behind-the-scenes tour of record-breaking JET (Joint European Torus) before a close-up of operations at UKAEA’s other fusion machine, MAST-U (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak – Upgrade).

Hosted by Professor Sir Ian Chapman, CEO of UKAEA, the visit was part of the Committee’s inquiry into the Government’s approach to developing new nuclear power. It provided an informal fact-finding opportunity to discover more about the ground-breaking research and innovation being done in the UK to make fusion part of the world’s future energy supply.

The group of MPs talked to engineering apprentices studying at Oxfordshire Advanced Skills (OAS) and briefly paused for a selfie with SPOT – the four-legged robot at UKAEA’s fusion robotics centre RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments). They also met with private fusion companies and supply chain firms who are helping to accelerate fusion in the UK.

MPs with SPOT at fusion robotics centre RACE.

MPs with SPOT at fusion robotics centre RACE.

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said:

“It was fascinating to learn more about the fusion experiments and see such cutting-edge technology up close. It was also a pleasure to meet some of the innovative start-up companies and young apprentices involved in making the dream of low-carbon electricity from fusion a reality.

“It is clear we have a vibrant and competitive future for fusion research and innovation here in the UK.”

Professor Sir Ian Chapman, CEO of UKAEA, added:

“UKAEA continues to create jobs and drive economic growth in fusion-focused and adjacent fields, while helping to keep the country at the forefront of the international scientific community. It was a pleasure to welcome the Committee to our Culham Campus.”

The Committee exists to ensure that Government policies and decision-making are based on solid scientific evidence and advice. For further information, visit: Science and Technology Committee.

Based on the same processes that power the Sun and stars, fusion could be transformative for energy security and is important in the fight against climate change.

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