UKAEA and Kyoto Fusioneering Collaborate to Develop Fusion Energy Projects

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Oxford, United Kingdom / Tokyo, JAPAN(21st February 2024) – The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and Kyoto Fusioneering Ltd, a Japanese privately funded fusion technology company, have signed a Communication Framework Agreement to foster partnership on the exchange of knowledge and skills.

The agreement enables the collaboration on the development of technology pertaining to tritium ‘breeding blanket’ design and sets the stage for future joint initiatives, including areas such as tritium fuel cycle, remote handling, and power conversion (thermal cycle) technologies.

A breeding blanket is a component to be used in future fusion machines. It is mainly used for producing tritium, which is one of the fuels of fusion reactions.

The agreement between the two parties aims to advance blanket technology from its conceptual stage towards commercialisation. 

Professor Satoshi Konishi, Kyoto Fusioneering CEO, said: “Kyoto Fusioneering is proud to work closely with UKAEA. We have aspirations to expand the global impact of our technology beyond Japan.”

“UKAEA is one of the world’s most renowned fusion research institutions, and we hope our collaboration will take the best of public and private sector ambitions and capabilities, to deliver a better result than each of us could have achieved alone,” Professor Konishi added.

One of Kyoto Fusioneering’s recent contracts with UKAEA involved the development of gyrotron technology for UKAEA’s fusion machine, MAST-U, sited at Culham Campus. Gyrotrons can provide high-power microwaves for amplifying fusion reactions. The outcomes of this project intend to provide insights and inform the early designs of STEP, the UK’s prototype powerplant to be built at West Burton in Nottinghamshire.

Stephen Wheeler, UKAEA Executive Director, said: “Fusion energy promises to be a safe, low carbon and sustainable part of the world’s future energy supply. Kyoto Fusioneering has expanded its skills and capabilities in the UK and Japan and this partnership provides us a means to access them in both locations. We look forward to working with them on these projects to develop new technologies.”

Media contacts for the UK Atomic Energy Authority: mediaenquiries@ukaea.uk
Media contact for Kyoto Fusioneering: media@kyotofusioneering.com

About fusion energy
When a mix of two forms of hydrogen (deuterium and tritium) is heated to form a controlled plasma at extreme temperatures – 10 times hotter than the core of the Sun – they fuse together to create helium and release energy which can be harnessed to produce electricity. There is more than one way of achieving this. UKAEA’s approach is to hold this hot plasma using strong magnets in a ring-shaped machine called a ‘tokamak’, and then to harness this heat to produce electricity in a similar way to existing power stations.

About UK Atomic Energy Authority
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is the UK’s national organisation responsible for the research and delivery of sustainable fusion energy. It is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Fusion energy has great potential to deliver safe, sustainable, low carbon energy for generations to come. It is based on the same processes that power the Sun and stars, and would form part of the world’s future energy mix. Achieving this is a major technical challenge that involves working at the forefront of science, engineering, and technology.

UKAEA’s fusion machines include MAST-Upgrade (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) and the JET (Joint European Torus) research facility. JET’s operations were funded by the UK Government from 2021 until 31st December 2023. UKAEA is delivering the transition of JET from plasma operations to repurposing and decommissioning, on behalf of the UK Government. The insights gained from this process will contribute to the advancement of sustainable future fusion powerplants. 

UKAEA is implementing the UK’s £650 million Fusion Futures Programme, the UK’s alternative programme to associating to Euratom R&T, to support the UK Fusion Strategy. The Programme entails establishing new facilities at UKAEA’s Culham Campus in Oxfordshire to facilitate the advancement of new technologies and expand fusion fuel cycle capabilities. The Programme aims to foster world-leading innovation while also stimulating general industry capacity through international collaboration and the development of future fusion power plants. Additionally, a fusion skills package will be introduced focusing on nurturing expertise across a spectrum of disciplines and levels. In 2021, UKAEA opened its Fusion Technology Facility near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, to develop and test materials and components for future fusion powerplants.

UKAEA also undertakes cutting edge work with academia, other research organisations and the industrial supply chain in a wide spectrum of areas, including robotics and materials.

More information: https://www.gov.uk/ukaea
Media contact: mediaenquiries@ukaea.uk
Social Media: @UKAEAofficial

About Kyoto Fusioneering Ltd
Kyoto Fusioneering is a privately funded technology start-up founded in 2019 in Kyoto, with its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Building upon decades of research at Kyoto University, the company is focused on developing advanced technologies for commercial fusion reactors, including gyrotron systems, tritium fuel cycle technologies, and breeding blankets for tritium production and power generation. Kyoto Fusioneering is developing innovative solutions that are simultaneously high-performance and commercially viable. Supporting both public and private fusion developers around the world, the company is accelerating the realization of fusion as the ultimate energy source for humankind.
Explore more about KF’s vision for the future of energy at www.kyotofusioneering.com/en/ or by contacting media@kyotofusioneering.com.

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