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UK fusion energy gets boost

The UK Atomic Energy Authority and Czech Republic's Centrum výzkumu Řež have joined forces to advance the design of the UK's fusion energy project

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the Czech Republic’s Centrum výzkumu Řež (CVŘ) have signed an agreement to advance fusion energy.

Fusion is the process that occurs at the centre of stars and is responsible for the energy that powers the universe.

When light nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, they emit bursts of energy.

This process is the opposite of nuclear fission, which is used in nuclear power plants today.

The focus of the partnership is on developing a specialised test rig, named Hi-CrIS, which is crucial for the progression of the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP).

This collaboration aims to gather essential data on High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) tapes, vital for fusion energy research.

The Hi-CrIS rig, expected to be operational by 2026, will aid in shaping the design and lifespan of STEP’s superconducting magnetic components, crucial for confining fusion plasma.

The agreement involves utilising CVŘ’s LVR-15 research reactor to irradiate HTS tape samples, maintaining cryogenic temperatures, which is essential for understanding their operational behaviour.

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