Frazer-Nash Consultancy has teamed up with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Oxford Sigma (OS), and TÜV UK to train the next generation of fusion engineers in tackling the engineering challenges of commercial fusion energy – including those that will be faced by UKAEA’s Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP).
The fusion reactions that take place in the core of a fusion machine render radiation omnipresent in fusion energy devices, such as tokamaks. This is due to the nuclear fusion processes producing charged particle radiation and/or uncharged radiation. Oxford Sigma has developed a comprehensive training package consisting of key information and best practices on the effects of radiation damage. The literature also covers the latest approaches on the mitigation of radiation induced degradation of materials, components and systems through current and emerging technology developments. Through dissemination of this training material, fusion engineers within UKAEA and their partner organisations will be equipped with state-of-the-art skills on designing for, and mitigating against, radiation damage in fusion energy devices.
Realising commercial fusion energy can only be achieved through collaboration between government agencies, academic institutions, national laboratories, and industry. Through bringing together the breadth and depth of skills from each of these areas, such collaborations build the necessary workforce which is required to deliver fusion power for generations to come.
This collaboration between Frazer-Nash Consultancy, UKAEA, OS, and T Ü V UK has demonstrated that collaborations are possible and indeed necessary to produce effective training programs for the next generation of engineers.
Dr Ellie Young, Consultant Nuclear Engineer at Frazer-Nash Consultancy, commented on the partnership:
“The outcome of this collaboration with UKAEA, OS and TÜV UK is technologically and, arguably more importantly, socially and culturally exciting. This material will challenge existing understanding, attitudes, and behaviours amongst fusion designers by upskilling a new generation of scientists and engineers, with safety and sustainability at the centre of their practice. It is an exciting contribution to the overall goal of energy security and net zero emissions through fusion commercialisation across the world.”
Mark Anderton, Nuclear Engineer at Oxford Sigma, added:
“The skills and guidance provided in the training package we’ve produced in partnership with UKAEA, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, and TÜV UK are invaluable resources for the next generation of engineers. It is an exciting step forward in achieving fusion whilst simultaneously supporting the young people tasked with our future.”
Wesley McCollough, Vice President, Practical Radiation Protection Group, TÜV, noted:
“TÜV UK together with subject matter experts from TÜV NORD Germany provided Quality Assurance for the training package delivered to the UKAEA. Ensuring that the training materials written by our partners were of the highest quality and crafted so that they would meet the specific needs of the UKAEA when training the next generation of fusion engineers. It was a great chance to work with a diverse team of experts, with accessing to cutting edge innovations.”
Whilst Terry Thompson, STEP Control Systems Lead at UKAEA, stated:
“Through UKAEA’s collaboration with Frazer-Nash Consultancy, OS and TÜV UK we have managed to bring together a body of material which represents the leading edge in relation to international understanding of radiation effects and good design practices, which will drive forward the development of the first fusion power plants and the idea of fusion power as a commercial reality”