UK Fusion Programme

Lead Research Organisation: CCFE/UKAEA

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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Borba D (2006) Confinement transitions (H-mode) in JET inner wall limiter plasmas in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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Bilykov√° O (2006) COMPASS-D magnetic equilibria with lh and NBI current drive in Czechoslovak Journal of Physics

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Coccorese V (2006) Assessment of new ex-vessel magnetic measurements in JET in Review of Scientific Instruments

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Sircombe N (2006) Aspects of electron acoustic wave physics in laser backscatter from plasmas in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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Dudarev SL (2006) Angular-dependent matrix potentials for fast molecular-dynamics simulations of transition metals. in Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

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Dnestrovskij Y (2007) Analysis of pressure profiles and transport simulations of MAST discharges in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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Sharapov S (2006) Alfvén cascades in JET discharges with NBI-heating in Nuclear Fusion

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Meyer H (2008) Active control of the H-mode transition on MAST in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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Cottrell G (2013) A survey of plasma facing materials for fusion power plants in Materials Science and Technology