Samara Levine, Fusion Technology Materials

Neutrons carry around 80% of the energy from fusion reactions and it’s this energy we’ll capture to generate clean, secure fusion power. As we progress the design of our fusion pilot plant, our Fusion Pioneer Samara Levine explains how we’re working to understand the impact of neutrons on structural materials.

This is especially important for components surrounding the ‘breeder’ blanket, where we’ll capture the energy from the neutrons as well as ‘breed’ the tritium we’ll use as a fuel. Working to identify the most reliable and cost-effective materials for future fusion power plants is all part of our mission to commercialise fusion energy, helping to protect the planet and ensure energy security for all.

Jack Astbury, Fusion Technology Manager

How will we capture the energy from fusion? Our fusion pioneer Jack Astbury explains the technology we’re developing to take fusion from plasma physics to a globally deployable energy source.

Jack describes in the video how we’ll capture the energy from the deuterium-tritium fusion reaction. We do this by surrounding the plasma in a ‘breeding blanket’ that will convert the kinetic energy of neutrons into usable thermal energy, as well as ‘breeding’ the tritium we use as a fuel. “Everything we do at Tokamak Energy is geared towards commercial energy,” says Jack.

Anna Hills, Demo4 Project Engineer

Assembling more than 15,000 components into the world’s first spherical tokamak configuration HTS magnet is a major task. Our fusion pioneer this week, project engineer Anna Hills, gives an insight into the system assembly process for Demo4, our ground-breaking high temperature super-conducting (HTS) magnet project.

HTS magnet technology improves the performance and cost effectiveness of spherical tokamaks, unlocking the pathway to clean, affordable fusion energy. Demo4 will allow us to demonstrate operation and test our HTS coils in fusion power plant-relevant scenarios for the first time. The learnings will feed into our fusion pilot plant programme which aims to demonstrate the capability to deliver fusion energy to the grid in the 2030s

Erica Thake, IP Manager

Tokamak Energy is in the business of developing new technologies and new ideas. Our IP Manager, Erica Thake, explains why Intellectual Property (IP) is so important to us in terms of attracting investment and enhancing value, helping us to protect and commercialise our innovations.

Our pioneering high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnet technology is an example of a technology we’re developing for fusion which has other potential applications, such space, medical, scientific research and clean aviation.

Sandeep Irukuvarghula, Materials Specialist, Fusion Technology

‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to directly address the challenge of climate change’, says Sandeep Irukuvarghula of what drives him to work in fusion energy.

As fusion moves closer to commercial reality, our focus shifts towards solving the engineering challenges of fusion power plants. Sandeep explains how his work as a materials specialist involves identifying and developing suitable materials for fusion, looking at advanced manufacturing techniques to ensure they’re economic to produce and commercially viable for the life of a fusion plant.

Vivian Lee, Plasma Facing Components Section Leader

‘It’s like a rocket re-entering the atmosphere from space, and greater than that’, is how Vivian Lee describes the thermal loads inside a fusion plant.

Vivian’s interest in aerospace led her to a degree in aerospace engineering and a PhD in thermodynamics, before joining Tokamak Energy. She explains the work we’re doing to develop and manufacture components that will be able to withstand the extreme conditions inside a fusion power plant as we move closer to the commercialisation of fusion energy.

Vicky Bayliss, Senior Cryogenics Engineer; and Max Rowland, HTS Magnets Technician

Our pioneering High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) magnets must be able to withstand extreme conditions to keep fusion power plants running in the future. Vicky Bayliss and Max Rowland explain how we’re testing magnet durability and performance at the US Department of Energy’s Sandia Laboratories in Albuquerque.

The specialist laboratory is ideally configured to test magnet durability and performance when exposed to gamma radiation, an important part of scaling up our operations towards commercial fusion.

Ed Guise, HTS Cryogenics Engineer

High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) magnets are a key part of our pioneering approach to fusion energy. Cryogenics Engineer Ed Guise, explains how these advanced magnets work, and how cryogenics allows us to unlock their superconductivity.

He goes on to explain how we’ll cool the magnets in our new, world-leading Demo4 test programme, and why it’s such an important step on our pathway to commercialising fusion energy.

Yuichi Takase, Plasma Physics Senior Technical Advisor

Yuichi Takase, originally from Japan, has spent his entire professional life working towards seeing clean fusion energy connected to the grid.

Following a career at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tokyo University, Yuichi explains why the Tokamak Energy approach of combining the spherical tokamak with high temperature superconducting magnets attracted him to the company.

Jon Wood, Plasma Physicist

Our ST40 control room was recently described in the Economist magazine as befitting ‘the set of James Bond’. In this video, Jonathan Wood gives an insight into the vibrant atmosphere during operations.

Jon explains how we heat our plasmas to over 100 million degrees, six times hotter than the sun and why validating that achievement is so important. ‘It’s not enough to say we got there’, he says, ‘we have to prove it.’

Dr Hazel Lowe, Head of Laser and Soft X-Ray Diagnostics

‘It’s like a fancy speed gun for electrons’, is how Dr Hazel Lowe describes our new Thomson Scattering laser diagnostics system, and why she believes now is the time for fusion energy.

Hazel explains how firing a laser beam enables us to measure plasma electron temperature and density, and why those are such important factors as we pioneer the way towards a cleaner, sustainable future with energy security for all.

Cary Colgan, Plasma Diagnostician

Cary Colgan is one of our Plasma Diagnosticians, whose work in Soft X-Ray (SXR) diagnostics involves looking into the heart of fusion plasmas, which are many times hotter than the sun.

SXR is just one of over 30 diagnostics systems we’re using and developing at Tokamak Energy, enabling us to monitor, measure and optimise plasma performance in our ST40 tokamak and future devices.

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