The Board, for the first time, saw first-hand, progress on the ITER project and discussed opportunities for UKAEA and the UK more widely.
ITER is the international successor to the world’s largest fusion experiment, JET, operated by UKAEA at Culham on behalf of the European fusion community. It is currently under construction in Cadarache and will act as the single step to a demonstration fusion power plant.
The Board members met with Bernard Bigot, ITER Director General, David Campbell, ITER Director of Science & Operations and Jérôme Pamela, Director of the Agence ITER France, to hear about progress and remaining technical challenges on ITER and took a detailed tour of the construction site.
The Board also took the opportunity to visit CEA’s site at Cadarache. They visited the Tore Supra experimental fusion device and were given a tour of the Jules Horowitz Reactor building. This is a new experimental reactor under construction that will test materials and fuels for nuclear reactors – with potential for collaboration with UKAEA’s growing materials research programme. Rob Bamber, a UKAEA engineer, currently seconded to the project, gave a short presentation on his work.
UKAEA Chairman Roger Cashmore was delighted with the visit:
It was very instructive for the Board to see what is happening at ITER, on the ground so to speak. It is clear that there are many opportunities for UKAEA with our knowledge and expertise to contribute to realising ITER and further steps towards electricity production.
Published: 10 November 2015