Construction of a nuclear fusion demonstrator in Oxfordshire is expected to start this summer.
by Rory Butler / January 13, 2023
South Oxfordshire District Council has approved plans by Canadian firm General Fusion for a new facility at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Culham Campus.
Around 200 construction jobs will be created.
Though the facility itself will not actually generate power, the demonstrator will create fusion conditions in a power plant-relevant environment, achieving temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius.
“This is a crucial step on the path to eventually powering homes, businesses and industry with zero-carbon fusion energy,” said General Fusion.
For its design, a translucent fabric wraps around a 38-metre-high cylindrical fusion hall at the centre of the facility, which houses a magnetised target fusion machine.
What is fusion energy?
Fusion energy is based on the same processes that power the sun and stars. It presents a major technical challenge that involves working at the forefront of science, engineering, and technology.
If successful, it has the potential to deliver safe, sustainable, low-carbon energy for generations to come.
- AL_A architects
On the job
“The UK has been a longstanding leader in fusion energy development,” said Greg Twinney, CEO of General Fusion. “We are thrilled to join the Culham Campus and the UK’s Fusion Cluster and anticipate creating 60 long-term jobs at the site.”
The fusion machine should be fully operational by early 2027.
The news follows plans for a prototype fusion energy plant in Nottinghamshire.
If you enjoyed this article, we also recommend Three new towers at Bristol Temple Quay