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Assystem’s Sunderland engineering team will lead two crucial aspects of the UK’s STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) fusion project – Breeder Blanket and Materials Database, Assystem said on 20 December. STEP is being designed at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA’s) site at Culham in Oxfordshire. Assystem’s team of engineers will be contributing from their bases in Sunderland, Derby and Blackburn. Assystemhas experience delivering fusion projects including leading the design of the Divertor Remote Handling System (DRHS)  for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), under construction in France. The DRHS is a robotic arm that can operate inside the extremely hot environment of the fusion reactor.

Date: Wednesday, 25 December 2019
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China has completed the construction of the HL-2M tokamak fusion reactor at a research centre in Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan province.

Date: Friday, 29 November 2019
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Civil engineering works have been completed on the building that will house the fusion machine of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) at Cadarache in south-eastern France. The final concrete was poured yesterday for the upper part of the Tokamak Complex, meaning the metal frame of its roof can now be installed.

Date: Saturday, 09 November 2019
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Fusion for Energy (F4E), the European Union (EU) organisation managing Europe’s contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) under construction in France, has awarded a contract to Spanish GDES Group’s Surface Treatment Unit for the application of specific coatings to the Iter buildings.

Date: Tuesday, 01 October 2019
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The ITER Organization has awarded a €200 million contract for Tokamak Assembly to DYNAMIC, a consortium comprising Ansaldo Nucleare, Endel Engie, Orys Group ORTEC, SIMIC, Leading and Ansaldo Energia.

Date: Wednesday, 02 October 2019
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The US Department of Energy has announced it will provide $30m to US universities, private industry and national laboratories for a range of research projects in fusion energy.

In a statement the DOE said the funding will go to 10 US multi-institutional research teams to support fusion energy research at international facilities.

The main focus of the fusion energy research is sustaining high-temperature plasmas for long durations within superconducting tokamak facilities – donut-shaped devices that confine the plasma by means of powerful magnetic fields.

Date: Saturday, 31 August 2019
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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire on 8 August, the same day he announced that the UK would change rules to allow for fast-track visas to bring in elite scientists and make the UK “even more welcoming” for the profession.

Date: Friday, 09 August 2019
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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the ITER International Fusion Energy Organisation are to enhance their cooperation in nuclear fusion research and related activities following the signing of an agreement that expands one signed in 2008.

Date: Thursday, 20 June 2019
Original article:,-ITER-expand-cooperation-on-fusion

The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iter’s International Fusion Energy Organisation have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in nuclear fusion research with the long-term goal of realising fusion energy production on an industrial, power-plant scale.

The agency said it had signed the agreement, known as “practical arangements’, at its headquarters in Vienna this week. The document was conveyed to Bernard Bigot, Iter Organisation director-general, who signed it today at the Iter Council Session at Iter’s headquarters in St. Paul-lez-Durance, southern France. The arrangements “expand and deepen” a cooperation agreement from 2008, the IAEA said.

IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano noted the importance of the new arrangements. “The challenge to achieve the goal of fusion power production can only be met through concerted international efforts. Iter’s impressive work plays a central role in this field,” Mr Amano said. “We look forward to our intensified collaboration.”

Date: Wednesday, 19 June 2019
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