Research at UKAEA

The UK Atomic Energy Authority, through its fusion arm, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) is a leader in magnetic confinement fusion research.

Fusion is the process that heats the Sun and all other stars, where atomic nuclei collide together and release energy.

Our work is part of a co-ordinated European programme led by the EUROfusion consortium. This is focused on providing Europe’s input to the next-step international fusion experiment, ITER, and the demonstration power station that will follow it, known as DEMO.

Main research activities at CCFE include:

  • experiments on the MAST Upgrade spherical tokamak;
  • participation in the JET research programme;
  • a theory and modelling programme which studies key areas of plasma physics and predicts performance of future tokamaks such as ITER; and
  • studies of the materials and technology needed in ITER and fusion power stations.

Fusion research at CCFE is funded jointly by EURATOM and by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Further details can be found on the CCFE website

New facilities linked to our fusion research are now operational at Culham:

Materials Research Facility (MRF), is a UK facility for micro-characterisation of materials now open to university and industry users. It is part of the National Nuclear Users Facility (NNUF) initiative.

Remote Applications in Challenging Environments facility (RACE) is conducting R&D and commercial activities in the field of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS).