Our work to bring fusion energy to fruition is back underway at Culham, but working conditions have now changed to reflect the circumstances.
Following the hard work by many staff across the UK Atomic Energy Authority, led by Chief Operating Officer Lyanne Maclean, the site’s key research facilities are reopening, with stringent safety, social distancing and hygiene measures to guard against the spread of Covid-19.
UKAEA has restarted operations on the EU’s JET fusion machine at Culham, now with a smaller operational team in the Control Room, and with videoconferencing facilities allowing scientists to participate in experiments remotely.
Meanwhile work continues on the UK’s MAST Upgrade tokamak. Despite the challenges of the new working conditions, engineers have successfully tracked down and fixed some elusive earthing issues within some of the complex suite of power supplies, enabling the commissioning process to continue.
At UKAEA’s RACE centre, experimental work into robotics has restarted, with distancing between staff working in the facility’s large work hall.