Prime Minister hails ‘world-leading’ fusion research at Culham

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today visited Culham to make his first major science policy announcement since taking office.

Boris Johnson at CulhamThe visit marked a Government announcement on plans to develop a new fast-track visa route for scientists to continue to move to the UK after EU Exit.

During his visit, the Prime Minister was shown the work CCFE is doing to harness the huge potential of nuclear fusion as a low-carbon energy source. This included the new MAST Upgrade fusion experiment, which is researching a compact design for future fusion power stations.

He also toured Culham’s Materials Research Facility to see its cutting-edge research into materials for nuclear reactors.

The Prime Minister spoke with Culham apprentices about their careers and about the plans for a new £12M apprentice training centre, Oxfordshire Advanced Skills, opening in September on the site.

He then visited RACE – a robotics centre run by CCFE’s operator, the UK Atomic Energy Authority – to see how the latest research is helping UK industry compete in the fast-growing robotics sector.

Mr Johnson said afterwards: “It was fantastic to visit Culham today and meet the men and women who are helping to invent a sustainable fusion reactor.

“The UK is leading the world in this sector, thanks in significant part to the work at Culham. I’m confident that with the help of the immigration reforms I have announced today, we will continue to do so for many years to come.

Head of CCFE Prof Ian Chapman said: “Fusion energy’s huge potential is well known and the PM reiterated the Government’s support for our research. We also showed him how the Materials Research Facility and RACE are providing spillover benefits and supporting UK industry in adjacent fields, at the same time as working towards delivering sustainable fusion energy.”

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