UK Atomic Energy Authority

UK Atomic Energy Authority

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority carries out fusion research in the UK on behalf of the government at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in Oxfordshire.

Nuclear fusion, the process that powers the Sun, can play a big part in our carbon-free energy future. Culham is one of the world’s leading fusion research laboratories. Our scientists and engineers are working with partners around the globe to develop fusion as a new source of electricity for tomorrow’s power stations. As well as operating the MAST fusion device, we host the Joint European Torus experiment for researchers from 29 countries on behalf of the European Union.

We are also currently expanding our technology programme in areas such as materials research and remote handling engineering. This will benefit the design of future fusion power stations and other industries, most notably advanced nuclear fission design.

CCFE has links with over 20 UK universities, who contribute to the fusion research programme. Many of these involve PhD students, of which there are around 40 engaged in fusion, based either at Culham or their home university, and many with EPSRC Industrial CASE studentships.

In addition we have a successful industry liaison programme which assists British companies in accessing commercial opportunities from fusion research. With the multi-billion Euro international fusion project ITER now under construction in France, the UK engineering sector is in an excellent position to benefit from contracts and has already won over €200 million of work on ITER.

Apart from the fusion programme, we are responsible for several civil nuclear pension schemes, and own land at the Harwell-Oxford and Culham Science Centre sites in Oxfordshire and are committed to further developing these thriving science, technology and business parks.

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