The £22m building in Rotherham is strategically placed to engage industry in commercial fusion development. It will foster increased collaboration with research organisations including the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and The Welding Institute.
The 25,000 sq ft facility — sited at the Advanced Manufacturing Park — will join other companies on site including Rolls-Royce, McLaren Automotive, and will capitalise on industry experts in the region. It will develop and test technologies for fusion materials and components — for example novel metals and ceramics. These will then be evaluated under conditions simulating the inside of a fusion reactor.
The site will help UK companies win contracts as part of ITER — the international fusion project being built in the south of France. Looking further ahead, it will enable technology development for the first fusion power plants, which are already being designed.
Damon Johnstone, head of UKAEA Yorkshire, said: “We are delivering the new facility at pace, with major milestones on building mobilisation and recruitment for the new facility proceeding to plan.” He continued, “There are exciting times ahead; the Fusion Technology facility in Rotherham will be unique in the world and as well as delivering cutting-edge R&D it will help to seed the development of a UK supply chain for fusion.”