Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, visited the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) today to learn about the transformative potential of fusion energy in the global fight against climate change.
Sir Patrick was joined by Ministry of Defence Nuclear Scientific Adviser, Bill Lee, for a briefing on the UK’s world-leading fusion programme, including the first prototype fusion energy powerplant, STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production).
The delegation took the opportunity to learn more about innovative businesses based at Culham Science Centre in south Oxfordshire, including General Fusion, Reaction Engines and Oxbotica.
UKAEA’s Culham campus is currently undergoing a major regeneration programme and has become a hub for fusion energy and adjacent technologies, such as robotics, computing and advanced materials.
Sir Patrick Vallance said: “It was fantastic to visit UKAEA today and see first-hand the exciting potential of fusion technology and the rapid progress being made. UKAEA’s ongoing contribution to fusion research and demonstration is helping to solve one of the world’s greatest challenges in decarbonising our global energy systems, as well as advancing a range of critical science and technology areas.”
Professor Ian Chapman, UKAEA Chief Executive, added: “We believe fusion energy can be an environmentally responsible part of the world’s future energy mix and it was fantastic to discuss the ground-breaking research and innovation being done here in the UK with Sir Patrick.
“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.”
The tour of UKAEA’s Culham campus concluded with a visit to on-site training centre, Oxfordshire Advanced Skills, where the delegation met apprentices from a range of companies.