AMEC has been awarded two important contracts by Fusion for Energy (F4E), the organisation responsible for providing Europe’s contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) being constructed in the south of France.
The first contract, worth up to €4 million, sees AMEC and its partners deliver the concept designs for the crucial Test Blanket Module components that convert neutrons into tritium, to fuel the fusion reaction. AMEC’s partners include Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) – the UK’s national laboratory for fusion research, Idaho National Laboratories and specialist companies including Hyde Engineering Group.
For the second contract, the value of which has not been announced, AMEC has formed a joint venture with Iberdrola Engineering and Construction, and Leading Enterprises Group of Spain, to provide engineering design services to develop a semi-prototype panel for the internal wall of the fusion reactor.
Greg Willetts, Consultancy Director in AMEC’s European Clean Energy business, said: “To help meet the global challenge for clean energy, AMEC is committed to applying our world leading reactor technology skills to develop nuclear fusion for the future, a technology that could transform the global energy landscape by producing zero carbon emission energy.
“These exciting contracts recognise AMEC’s expertise in complex engineering at the cutting edge of technology and will build on our leading expertise in fusion and materials technology. We look forward to working with our partners and F4E to successfully deliver these contracts.”
ITER is a large-scale scientific experiment that aims to prove the viability to produce commercial energy from fusion. The ITER organisation comprises seven members: The European Union (EU), USA, Russia, Japan, China, Korea and India. The ITER experimental fusion reactor facility is being built on a 180 hectare site based at Cadarache, Southern France. The construction on site commenced in 2010 under a Procurement Arrangement with the European Domestic Agency, Fusion for Energy (F4E). The scale of the site is large with the Tokamak reactor building itself being 73 metres high. Fusion experiments are planned to commence in November 2020. See http://fusionforenergy.europa.eu.
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) is the UK’s leading fusion research laboratory. CCFE scientists and engineers are working with partners around the globe to develop fusion as a new source of clean energy for tomorrow’s power stations. CCFE is based at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, and is owned and operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. CCFE is home to the UK’s fusion research programme, most notably the MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment and it also hosts the world’s largest fusion facility, JET (Joint European Torus), which is operated for CCFE’s European partners under the European Fusion Development Agreement. Further information is available at www.ccfe.ac.uk and www.jet.efda.org.