Atkins bags design contract for ‘world’s first’ fusion energy centre

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Atkins has been awarded the design contract for the ‘world’s first’ fusion energy research centre, the Hydrogen-3 Advanced Technology (H3AT) facility

The H3AT facility – which will be built at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire – will support ongoing work at ITER.

Atkins – supported by supply chain partners including Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Ansaldo Nuclear, and FlexProcess – will deliver the preliminary and detailed design of the H3AT tritium recycling loop, comprising storage beds, a distribution system, impurity processing system, and systems to depreciate water and air.

Designed to facilitate the handling, testing and validation of tritium, the loop will allow a range of tests and experiments to be carried out safely and efficiently.

‘Low-carbon, limitless and environmentally responsible energy’

Lee Patrick, UKAEA client manager of nuclear & power at Atkins, said: “Fusion has the potential to provide the world with a low-carbon, limitless and environmentally responsible energy source in the future.

“Recognising the complexity and scale of this project, we’ve put together a world-class team that is fully focused on playing its part in helping to recreate and harness energy based on the same principle that powers our Sun and stars.”

The H3AT facility will provide access to scientists and researchers to inform tritium processes for future fusion programmes.

Steve Wheeler, director of UKAEA’s fusion technology business unit, added: “H3AT is a truly unique facility to support UK science and the development of fusion fuel cycle technology.

“Atkins will bring proven engineering design capability to the delivery group, in addition to the valuable expertise of their supply chain partners.”

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