Leading systems and engineering technology consultancy Frazer-Nash has been appointed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) to deliver the concept design for a key component of the UK’s new fusion reactor – the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP).
STEP is an innovative plan for a commercially viable fusion power station – offering the realistic prospect of constructing a power plant by 2040. The investment will allow engineers and scientists, including Frazer-Nash, to produce a conceptual design for the reactor (known as a ‘tokamak’) that will generate fusion energy and convert it into electricity. UKAEA and partners from industry and academia will pool their expertise to complete the design by 2024.
Commenting on Frazer-Nash’s contribution, Neil Leggatt, Nuclear Group Business Manager said:
“A tokamak fusion reactor heats plasma to hundreds of millions of degrees to fuse atoms together, confining the plasma with magnetic fields. The divertor handles the heat exhaust from the fusion reaction – managing this heat is one of the most pressing challenges facing those seeking to realise a commercially-viable power plant design.
“We will combine our experience with high-performance heat exchanger technology with our multi-disciplinary design and analysis capability to develop a divertor heat exchanger design that can manage the increased heat exhaust requirements of STEP and can be easily manufactured for a commercial power station.”
Fusion offers a virtually limitless source of cleaner electricity by copying the processes that power the Sun – the collision of hydrogen atoms to release large amounts of energy. Researchers around the globe are now developing fusion reactors that can turn this into a commercial technology to help satisfy the world’s ever-increasing demand for energy.
What the UK Atomic Energy Authority does
UKAEA researches fusion energy and related technologies, with the aim of positioning the UK as a leader in sustainable nuclear energy. It is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
For more information, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-atomic-energy-authority/about
For the latest UKAEA news: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-take-a-big-step-to-fusion-electricity