UK Atomic Energy Authority

Who we are

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is a UK government research organisation responsible for the development of fusion energy. Based at Culham Science Centre near Oxford, England, our mission is to lead the delivery of sustainable fusion energy and maximise scientific and economic benefit. Today, we continue to advance fusion science and engineering as the world comes together to build the first power plant scale experiment, ITER, in France. Looking a step beyond ITER, local communities across the UK are being given the opportunity to host Britain’s prototype fusion power plant, STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), which aims to “pave the way to a limitless supply of low-carbon clean energy” by taming the reaction that powers the sun and stars.


Developing fusion – the ultimate energy source

We are working with research partners and industry around the globe to realise the enormous potential of fusion for generating low-carbon electricity. Increasing demand for energy, concerns over climate change, and limited supplies of fossil fuels mean we need to find new, cleaner ways to power the planet. Fusion – the process that drives the Sun – could offer a virtually limitless supply of energy if mastered on Earth. Bringing it to the electricity grid is one of the toughest challenges in science, but potentially one of the most rewarding.

What is fusion?

Fusion is a form of low-carbon energy whereby the power of the sun is replicated on earth. It involves fusing hydrogen particles in a hot gas known as a ‘plasma’ to unlock large amounts of energy. At equal mass to traditional energy sources, fusion energy releases nearly four times more energy than the burning of coal, oil or gas, and four times as much as nuclear fission reactions. It promises minimal impact to the environment, long-term reliability and weather independence, as well as offering the potential of an abundant, inherently safe low-carbon electricity supply (the raw materials are found in seawater and the Earth’s crust!).

Who we are

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is a UK government research organisation responsible for the development of fusion energy. Based at Culham Science Centre near Oxford, England, our mission is to lead the delivery of sustainable fusion energy and maximise scientific and economic benefit. Today, we continue to advance fusion science and engineering as the world comes together to build the first power plant scale experiment, ITER, in France. Looking a step beyond ITER, local communities across the UK are being given the opportunity to host Britain’s prototype fusion power plant, STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), which aims to “pave the way to a limitless supply of low-carbon clean energy” by taming the reaction that powers the sun and stars.


Developing fusion – the ultimate energy source

We are working with research partners and industry around the globe to realise the enormous potential of fusion for generating low-carbon electricity. Increasing demand for energy, concerns over climate change, and limited supplies of fossil fuels mean we need to find new, cleaner ways to power the planet. Fusion – the process that drives the Sun – could offer a virtually limitless supply of energy if mastered on Earth. Bringing it to the electricity grid is one of the toughest challenges in science, but potentially one of the most rewarding.

What is fusion?

Fusion is a form of low-carbon energy whereby the power of the sun is replicated on earth. It involves fusing hydrogen particles in a hot gas known as a ‘plasma’ to unlock large amounts of energy. At equal mass to traditional energy sources, fusion energy releases nearly four times more energy than the burning of coal, oil or gas, and four times as much as nuclear fission reactions. It promises minimal impact to the environment, long-term reliability and weather independence, as well as offering the potential of an abundant, inherently safe low-carbon electricity supply (the raw materials are found in seawater and the Earth’s crust!).

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