Oxfordshire company working with UKAEA on pioneering fusion research project

First Light Fusion

One of the world’s leading centres of fusion energy research and an Oxfordshire company are collaborating on a project which could revolutionise our energy supply.

Fusion holds the promise of safe, clean and virtually limitless power. It has the potential to transform the world’s energy supply if it can be applied successfully to power generation.

First Light Fusion, Oxford University’s spin out, is planning to demonstrate fusion by the middle of 2019 and to demonstrate generating more energy than that required to create fusion reactions by 2024. No project has achieved this yet.

A key step in the development of First Light’s vision is the creation of a ‘fusion island’, a sub-system that converts fusion energy into heat and manages fuel supply in a fusion power plant.

It is collaborating with the UK Atomic Energy Authority facility at Culham on the concept development for Fusion Island thanks to an Energy Entrepreneurs Fund grant from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The Energy Entrepreneurs Fund is a competitive funding scheme created by BEIS to support the development and demonstration of state of the art technologies, products and processes in the areas of energy efficiency, power generation and heat and electricity storage.

Nick Hawker, Founder and Chief Executive of First Light Fusion said: “We are excited to work together with UKAEA on the fusion island concept. UKAEA are the world’s foremost experts in fusion and fusion enabling technologies and they are our ideal partners for this exciting project.

“We are also proud of the grant we have been awarded. We believe that the UK is one of the very best countries in the world in which to pursue our endeavour, powering a world worth inheriting. We are delighted that BEIS has recognised the quality, value and credibility of the work we have done so far.”

Ian Chapman, UKAEA Chief Executive added: “Fusion energy is an extraordinarily important area, and UKAEA is proud to be the home to world-leading expertise in the field. We are very pleased to be able to work with First Light Fusion, and provide them with access to these capabilities for their exciting fusion programme.”