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Energy authority signs transatlantic agreement to advance fusion energy

Professional Engineering

How the UKAEA Step nuclear fusion power plant could look (Credit: UKAEA)
How the UKAEA Step nuclear fusion power plant could look (Credit: UKAEA)

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) in the US have signed a new five-year agreement to advance commercial fusion energy.

The agreement establishes the terms for a series of projects between Massachusetts firm CFS and UKAEA, which will support the development of fusion energy and related technologies.

Both organisations have a “shared mission… to leverage innovative research and the speed of the private sector to support the fastest path to low-carbon commercial fusion energy – based on the same processes that power the Sun and stars,” a UKAEA announcement said.

Amongst other projects, the energy authority leads the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (Step) project, which aims to create a prototype power plant capable of generating net electricity from fusion.

“Achieving our shared missions to deliver low carbon and sustainable fusion energy involves working at the forefront of science, engineering, and technology,” said Professor Ian Chapman, UKAEA CEO. “This new collaboration agreement with CFS will help push these developments and capabilities, drive innovation and accelerate progress.

“Fusion presents an exciting opportunity for the UK, and we’re proud our ground-breaking work here continues to support economic growth and attracts such leading international partners.”

The partnership could include sharing ‘best practice’ from fusion experiments, access to fusion-adjacent technologies such as robotics, and collaboration on fuel cycle technologies, advanced manufacturing, diagnostics and more.

“CFS and UKAEA have a mutual interest and strong belief that public-private collaborations such as this represent a way to accelerate advances in commercial fusion energy technology and support CFS’ plans to deliver commercial fusion as quickly as possible,” said Bob Mumgaard, CFS CEO.

“UKAEA is a leader in fusion energy research and CFS plans to establish a UK presence as we leverage the combined skills and talents of both organisations to develop the fastest path to commercial fusion power on the grid.”

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Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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