UKAEA Welcomes Government’s Fusion Energy Strategy

by Anna

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has expressed its appreciation for the clarity provided by the UK Government’s recent announcement outlining its ambitions for the fusion energy sector. In alignment with the preferences of the UK fusion sector, the UK has opted to pursue a domestic fusion energy strategy, deviating from its previous association with the EU’s Euratom programme.

This new strategy will prioritize close international collaboration, including partnerships with European counterparts, and will introduce a groundbreaking alternative fusion energy programme. The government has allocated up to £650 million in funding for this initiative until 2027, ensuring that UK taxpayer funding is used to serve the UK’s best interests.


UKAEA’s CEO, Professor Sir Ian Chapman, welcomed the government’s decision, stating that it provides the much-needed certainty required by the fusion sector. He highlighted the significance of the ambitious domestic research and development (R&D) programme in maintaining the UK’s leadership in fusion R&D and developing an industrial capability for future fusion power plants.


Furthermore, Professor Chapman applauded the commitment to enhance international collaborative relationships through substantial alternative R&D investments. UKAEA looks forward to collaborating with industrial partners to fulfill the UK’s fusion strategy and strengthen international partnerships.


Fusion energy, generated when deuterium and tritium, two forms of hydrogen, fuse together to create helium at extremely high temperatures, is viewed as a long-term solution to providing carbon-free energy globally. The UKAEA’s approach to achieving this involves using strong magnets in a ring-shaped machine called a ‘tokamak’ to contain the hot plasma generated during fusion. The energy produced can be utilized to generate electricity similar to existing power stations.


In addition to the domestic fusion energy strategy, UK scientists will have access to Horizon Europe, the world’s largest research collaboration programme. The Prime Minister has secured a bespoke deal with improved financial terms, allowing UK researchers to participate as fully associated members until 2027. This move opens doors for UK companies and research institutions to lead global work in various fields, including health and artificial intelligence.

The UK will also associate with Copernicus, the European Earth Observation programme, providing the UK’s earth observation sector access to valuable data for early warning systems and contract opportunities.

These developments signal the UK’s commitment to advancing fusion energy research, ensuring international collaboration, and seizing opportunities for innovation and growth in various scientific fields.

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