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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G003955/1
Title: UK Fusion Programme 2008-2010
Principal Investigator: Cowley, Professor S
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Department: Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
Organisation: Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
Scheme: Fusion
Starts: 01 April 2008 Ends: 31 March 2010 Value (£): 50,988,172
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Summary on Grant Application Form
Fusion is the main energy source of the universe; it is the process that powers the sun and the stars. If it can be harnessed economically on earth, it has the potential to be an important component of the portfolio of measures needed to ensure a secure, environmentally responsible, supply of energy, at a time when fossil fuels will be becoming increasingly expensive. There is increasing realisation of this potential as reflected by the launch of the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, being built in France, which will be the first fusion device to achieve energy gain and sustained burn.In a fusion reaction, large amounts of energy are released when the nuclei of two light atoms fuse together at extremely high temperatures to create a nucleus of a larger atom. In the most promising way to achieve these conditions on earth, strong magnetic fields in a tokamak configuration are used to control and confine the high temperature plasma.UKAEA's Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire is one of the world's leading fusion research centres, and contributes to fusion research in two ways: (i) through the UK's own programme focused on the spherical tokamak experiment MAST, and (ii) by contributing to the Joint European Torus (JET) programme. International co-operation is strong with the focus on the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (ITER). EURATOM part-funds all national programmes in Europe including the UK's.Experimental programmes on the MAST and JET tokamaks are performed to help resolve and refine understanding of key physics issues for ITER. In addition, experimental programmes on MAST focus on testing the potential of the spherical tokamak as a more compact option for future fusion devices. A strong theory and modelling group, utilising parallel- and super-computing facilities, supports the experimental programmes and contributes to the research and development of fusion materials and to studies of conceptual fusion power stations. The UK leads the research and development of two ITER specialist (diagnostic and heating) systems, and participates in several others of these large complex projects.The results of the research are presented in reports and publications, and at conferences, expert groups and specialist committees. Collaborations with researchers in other areas of science and technology are pursued strongly, where the research overlaps with fusion R&D, and increasingly there are fusion researchers in universities with whom UKAEA works.The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the European Commission fund, provide advice and monitor the UK fusion programme (some of the European funding / for work on ITER systems - is now channelled through the new Fusion for Energy Agency in Barcelona). The Fusion Advisory Board (FAB) advises EPSRC and UKAEA on the programme and on the longer-term strategy for fusion research at Culham; FAB receives reports from the MAST Programme Advisory Committee, a sub-group on ITER and industry, and an annual UK Fusion Materials Forum.
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