The government has announced £86 million of funding for the country’s nuclear fusion programme.
The investment will help fund the building and operation of the National Fusion Technology Platform at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Culham Science Centre.
It will be made up of two facilities, which will develop technology for the first nuclear fusion power plants and are expected to secure around £1 billion in contracts from the international research experiment ITER and other global projects.
One facility will research how to process and store tritium, one of the fuels that will power commercial fusion reactors.
The other will carry out thermal, mechanical, hydraulic and electromagnetic tests on prototype components under the conditions experienced inside fusion reactors.
UKAEA’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor Ian Chapman, said: “Fusion is entering the delivery era, with an increasing focus on the key technologies that will be needed for the first power stations.
“In the longer term it means the UK will be at the forefront of developing fusion and bringing cleaner energy to the world.”