Tokamak Energy’s new high tech divertor lab based at Milton Park near Oxford has been opened by Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Amanda Solloway MP.
The lab is a key development as the company continues to pioneer commercial fusion energy.
Tokamak Energy is developing two leading core technologies – high temperature superconductor (HTS) magnets and compact spherical tokamaks. These are both essential enabling technologies for economic fusion. The spherical tokamak is the UK Government’s preferred technology to develop commercial fusion and is the system chosen by the UKAEA for the STEP programme.
Around £10m is already being invested in the Divertor Laboratory, courtesy of UK Government funding from the Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) programme. This new laboratory is a bold new development that will enable Tokamak Energy to develop and deploy fusion energy in the UK and globally. A divertor enables removal of heat and benign helium from a tokamak fusion reactor while it is operating and better divertor technology means that future fusion power plants can produce energy more economically and the output can be increased without additional capital costs.
Tokamak Energy benefits from a rapidly growing UK fusion supply chain with 50 companies supplying materials and technology for the divertor work alone.
Chris Kelsall, CEO of Tokamak Energy said: “Fusion energy is clean, carbon free, safe and secure. While recognising there are technological strides ahead, the positive global implications are huge as is the market opportunity. Tokamak Energy’s ST-40 spherical tokamak is the most advanced fusion reactor developed by a private company to date. The opening of the AMR Divertor Laboratory today by Minister Solloway is so exciting and fundamental to our mission.”
In the next few months Tokamak Energy is also planning to be the first private company in the world to achieve 100 million degree Celsius plasma temperature, which is an essential cornerstone for economic fusion energy.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway MP said: “I was thrilled to visit Tokamak Energy today and hear first-hand about the latest steps being taken towards making fusion power a reality. The UK is one of the world leaders in fusion energy, and it’s companies like Tokamak Energy that are helping us build on that reputation and cement our status as a science superpower.”