This seminar will introduce the concept of nuclear fusion, explaining what it is, how it can become a viable base load power source for future electricity generation and why it is desperately needed. I will then look at the fusion experiments which have been developed to develop nuclear fusion, including two major machines at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Culham Science Centre - JET, the world record holding Joint European Torus and the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak, a unique UK compact fusion device.
Countries representing half the world’s population have come together to build a next step machine - ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor at Caderache in the South of France. ITERwill produce 500MW fusion power, 10 times the power required to generate the fusion reactor and integrate the many complex technologies required in a future fusion power station. ITER’s first plasma is expected in 2025 and beyond ITER there are plans around the world to build the first demonstration power producing fusion reactors in the 2040s and 2050’s.
The seminar will conclude by looking at the “six big technology challenges” to realising fusion power and the exciting new developments at UKAEA Culham to solve these - with new facilities to address challenges from high heat flux components and advanced materials, to fusion fuels and robotics.
You are welcome to join us for prior discussions and afternoon tea in the Wessex Restaurant 16:00-16:25
Damian Brennan is a senior manager at UKAEA Culham and has 25 years of experience in the fusion field. A nuclear engineer by training, he joined the UKAEA to work on the JET machine and was part of the team that fed the tritium fuel into the reactor during the world record breaking experiments in the late 90’s. He then went on to manage the Power and Active Operations Department managing 200 engineers and scientist carrying out fusion research. He is now the Head of H3AT: Tritium Advanced Technology, a brand new £40m facility to develop the processes required to fuel future fusion power stations.