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Nuclear Collaboration with UKAEA Fusion Technology Facilities

Image of the ODIN mechanical testing rig in UKAEA’s “interim” Materials Technology Laboratory. A sister facility is coming online at Bristol with new capabilities. Enabling novel research avenues while retaining strong collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunities.

Image of the ODIN mechanical testing rig in UKAEA’s “interim” Materials Technology Laboratory. A sister facility is coming online at Bristol with new capabilities. Enabling novel research avenues while retaining strong collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunities.

11 September 2018

Researchers from the Solid Mechanics Research Group are collaborating with the UK Atomic Energy Agency on the development of nuclear fusion technology.

The new Fusion Technology Facilities have found many friends and collaborators supportive of the aim to develop the technologies required for fusion. One particularly strong collaboration can be found between the Materials Technology Laboratory of UKAEA’s Fusion Technology Facilities and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol.

Substantial Investment in Equipment and Skills

After discussions on the exciting aims of the Materials Technology Laboratory, leading researchers at the University of Bristol are investing to develop facilities and a skill base that can foster collaborations. In consultation with UKAEA’s Dr Mike Gorley, Professor David Knowles and Dr Mahmoud Mostafavi from the Solid Mechanics Research Group University of Bristol have established ~£250k worth of mechanical testing equipment that complements the new Materials Technology Laboratory equipment at UKAEA. They have also provided funding to support a joint University of Bristol and UKAEA post-doctoral researcher to work on the new equipment at both the University of Bristol and the UKAEA’s Materials Technology Laboratory.

Collaboration on Fusion Materials Testing

Dr Mike Gorley (Head of UKAEA’s Materials Technology Laboratory) said “This budding collaboration between UKAEA and Bristol not only shows the strong support from UK academia for our vision for fusion materials testing, but also the promise of world leading science we can accomplish together. Having Bristol support a postdoctoral researcher working at Bristol and UKAEA will enable key knowledge sharing and will be a give our Materials Technology Laboratory at UKAEA an boosted start to life.

"It’s a great beginning, and a testament to the hard work from the whole Fusion Technology Team in establishing links and an ambitious, exciting and industrially related research programme.  With support from partners like Bristol I believe we can extend our research beyond the initial aims, and we will take a step closer to realising our fusion powered future.”

With new equipment already in place at the UKAEA’s Materials Technology Laboratory and University of Bristol, plans are well underway for some pioneering collaborative research projects. Another example of exciting work ongoing at UKAEA, fostered by the National Fusion Technology Platform.

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