UK Fusion Programme

Lead Research Organisation: EURATOM/CCFE
Department Name: Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

Abstract

Fusion is the energy-releasing process that powers the sun and other stars. If it can be harnessed economically on earth it would be an essentially limitless source of safe, environmentally responsible energy. Fusion energy is therefore strongly mission-orientated. The most promising method uses strong magnetic fields in a tokamak configuration to allow a high temperature deuterium-tritium plasma to be generated while minimising contact with the surrounding material surfaces.The UK contributes to fusion research in two ways: (i) through the UK's own programme focused on the spherical tokamak experiment MAST, and (ii) by contributing to the Joint European Torus (JET) programme. The MAST and JET facilities are situated at Culham Science Centre. International co-operation is strong with the focus on the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER), which will be the first fusion device to achieve energy gain and sustained burn.Experimental programmes on the MAST and JET tokamaks are performed to help resolve and refine understanding of key physics issues for ITER. In addition, experimental programmes on MAST focus on testing the potential of the spherical tokamak as a more compact option for future fusion devices. A strong theory and modelling group supports the experimental programmes and contributes to the research and development of fusion materials and to studies of conceptual fusion power stations. Expansion of the research and development of ITER specialist (i.e. diagnostic and heating) systems, focuses on securing major roles for the UK in the provision of two or three of these large complex projects.The results of the research are presented in reports and publications, and at conferences, expert groups and specialist committees. Collaborations with researchers in other areas of science and technologies are pursued strongly, where the research overlaps with fusion R&D.

Publications

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Kuldkepp M (2006) Motional Stark effect diagnostic pilot experiment for MAST in Review of Scientific Instruments

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Leonard A (2006) Survey of Type I ELM dynamics measurements in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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Llewellyn Smith C (2009) The path to fusion power in The European Physical Journal Special Topics

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L├Ânnroth J (2007) Effects of ripple-induced ion thermal transport on H-mode plasma performance in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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L├Ânnroth J (2006) Integrated ELM Modelling in Contributions to Plasma Physics

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Mahajan S (2006) Exact two-body bound states with Coulomb repulsion in a periodic potential in Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and General

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Matthews G (2007) Overview of the ITER-like wall project in Physica Scripta

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McArdle G (2006) Results from evaluation of a long pulse pilot data acquisition system on MAST in Fusion Engineering and Design

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McCLEMENTS K (2006) The coupling of shear and fast Alfvén waves at a magnetic X-point in Journal of Plasma Physics

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McDonald D (2006) The dimensionless scaling of ELMy H-mode confinement in Comptes Rendus Physique