UK Government to continue funding share of Joint European Torus (JET) costs
The British Government has committed to underwrite UK funding for the Joint European Torus (JET) facility, the European fusion experiment based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, until 2020. This is subject to the extension of the European Commission’s contract with the UK Atomic Energy Authority hosting the facility beyond 2018.
JET is the world’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experiment leading global efforts to develop a clean and safe energy source. Supporting over 1,300 jobs in the UK, 600 of which are highly skilled scientists and engineers, its facilities are collectively used by European fusion laboratories under the EUROfusion Consortium.
The announcement underlines the government’s ongoing commitment to maintain high quality research in the UK and continued collaboration with EU partners as the UK exits the EU.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “JET is a prized facility at the centre of the UK’s global leadership in nuclear fusion research, which is why the government is taking every possible step to secure its future and to maintain highly-skilled jobs in the UK.”
Science Minister Jo Johnson added: “Our exit from the EU has not altered our desire and willingness for the UK to continue playing a leading role in furthering our scientific understanding, and today’s announcement aims to provide the necessary reassurance for us to continue this partnership.”
Professor Ian Chapman, CEO of Culham Centre for Fusion Energy and the UK Atomic Energy Authority also commented: “We are pleased that the UK government is committed to exploiting JET as we prepare to break fusion records in the next few years.”
Paul Britton, Thames Valley Chamber Chief Executive added, “The Government’s continued investment and support to JET is great news for Oxfordshire, the Thames Valley and the UK and a firm statement of this key asset and the work it leads on a global scale. JET is located on the Culham Science Centre site and (as the promotional material states) ‘the hottest place on the planet and home of some of the world’s coolest science’! Importantly, it’s also a great location for business to thrive and, like many parts of Oxfordshire and the Thames Valley, a place to create, a place to innovate, a place to grow”.
Full text of the government’s announcement is available here.