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The Joint European Torus (JET) at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA’s) Culham facility has performed its final experiments, marking the end of 40 years of groundbreaking experiments. JET delivered pulse number 105,842 on 18 December over four decades after it delivered its first pulse on 25 June 1983. UKAEA CEO, Professor Sir Ian Chapman, who was present for the final plasma experiment, said: “This is the final milestone in JET’s 40-year history. Those decades of research using JET by dedicated teams of scientists and engineers have played a critical role in accelerating the development of fusion energy.”

Date: Wednesday, 03 January 2024
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The UK Government announced that UK researchers can now apply for grants and bid to take part in projects under Europe’s Horizon science R&D programme. The UK will be participating as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the programme to 2027. UK membership. The announcement also stated that the UK will associate to Copernicus, the European Union’s (EU's) Earth observation programme. However, it will not associate to the Euratom Research & Training programme (Euratom R&T) and by extension, the Fusion for Energy (F4E) Programme although there is an agreement to cooperate specifically on nuclear fusion.

Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2023
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US fusion energy tech startup Helion Energy has signed an agreement to provide Microsoft with electricity from its first fusion power plant. Constellation will serve as the power marketer and will manage transmission for the project. Helion said the plant is expected to be online by 2028 and will target power generation of 50 MW or more after a one-year ramp up period. The companies did not disclose financial or timing details of the power purchase agreement, or which Microsoft facilities would get fusion-generated electricity.

Date: Wednesday, 17 May 2023
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The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) to co-operate in research and development for remote handling and the maintenance of future power plants. The aim is to make fusion part of the world’s future energy supply.

Date: Friday, 31 March 2023
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Experiments conducted at the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA’s) Joint European Torus (JET) in Culham have managed to achieve “clean” plasma by creating a heat barrier.

Date: Wednesday, 01 March 2023
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A consortium of nuclear fusion experts led by Atkins - a member of the SNC-Lavalin group - and Assystem, a specialist in energy transition, has been appointed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) as a service delivery partner for engineering for its Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) programme, which aims to demonstrate the commercial viability of generating energy using nuclear fusion.

Date: Wednesday, 17 August 2022
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Assystem announced that it has secured a place on three new United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) frameworks that will facilitate the development of the UK's Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP).

Date: Thursday, 10 March 2022
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New report highlights current opportunities for progress in commercialisation of the technology The UK has shortlisted five sites as the potential future home of the country’s first prototype fusion energy plant. Courtesy UKAEA. Capital costs for the development of a new generation of nuclear fusion reactors are high at around £100/MWh, but a substantial programme of standard build could bring them down to a viable target of £60-£70/MWh, a report published by engineering group Assystem says.

According to the report, which examines the potential for fusion in the UK, the government has estimated the 2040 levelised costs of electricity (LCOE) for the UK for standalone offshore wind, onshore wind and large-scale solar of £40/MWh, £44/MWh and £33/MWh respectively.

The £60-£70/MWh cost for fusion “provides the first target for nuclear fusion to be economically competitive”, the report concludes. It says fusion is uncompetitive today with other low-carbon options available in the UK – including wind and light-water nuclear fission reactors. The reason for this is the combination of a relatively high construction cost (£5,887/kWe) and a low capacity factor (56%).

The International Energy Agency has put the LCOE for advanced nuclear at $63/MWh (about £45/MWh).

With an improved, large fusion design the construction cost decreases to £4,135/kWe and the capacity factor to 75%. These two effects improve the fusion economics, decreasing the LCOE into the range £60 to £97/MWh. For a small fusion design, the energy cost of 75 units is in the region of £69- £99/MWh – a range that is comparable to 10 units of large fusion reactors and also the energy cost of LWR fission reactors.

Date: Saturday, 23 October 2021
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The 28th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC), which is being held on-line from 10-25 May, has attracted a record 3,400 attendees, including both full participants and observers. The conference organisers include the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and the ITER Organisation and the week-long programme takes full advantage of a powerful web platform.

Date: Wednesday, 12 May 2021
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