Press release | 03.03.22

Assystem strengthens role in UK fusion development

Global engineering company will support the UK’s mission for abundant, low-carbon power   

International engineering and digital services company, Assystem has secured a place on three new United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) frameworks that will facilitate the development of STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), the UKAEA technology that aims to take fusion energy to the commercial stage in the UK.   

Assystem is supporting the UKAEA with a broad range of engineering services via multiple contracts won on the £4 million Engineering Embedded Resource Framework, working with UKAEA teams on fusion research, power plant design, robotics, modelling, materials, and other specialist technology areas. 

The framework covers a variety of UKAEA projects such as STEP, the world-record setting Joint European Torus (JET), and research at the UKAEA’s new Rotherham Fusion Technology Facility, which will be home to CHIMERA (Combined Heating and Magnetic Research Apparatus), the only machine in the world that is able to test components under the unique combination of conditions encountered in large fusion devices, such as ITER.  

Assystem will also be supporting the concept design of STEP via the STEP Fuel Cycle – Tritium Engineering Framework, established to allow the UKAEA to access the UK industry’s knowledge of tritium and tritium engineering.   

In a third win Assystem has also secured a place on the STEP Manufacture Support Services Framework, which will enable the UKAEA to access a range of design for manufacturing and advanced engineering skills. 

Fusion energy offers the potential for abundant power, using a sustainable fuel source while leaving no harmful environmental legacy. The reality of fusion has the potential to meet the global energy demand for low-carbon power, acting as a stable partner in energy systems. 

 

Assystem is committed to the projects that will drive and sustain the energy transition, such as fusion energy, and the company brings a rich heritage in fusion engineering to the STEP programme through its role at ITER – the world’s largest fusion prototype, where the company is a lead member in the Engage and Momentum consortia, as well as the lead contractor for the design of the Divertor Remote Handling System (DRHS). 

Gary Reed, Assystem’s UK Fusion Energy Business Manager said: “Assystem is a well-established fusion engineering company, and we are invested in the UK’s ambition to drive the technology forward, an example of which is our 2021 report: Fusion Energy: A global effort, a UK opportunity that highlights the pathway to the commercialisation of fusion energy technology, focusing on the potential benefits for the UK in driving its development. 

We are delighted to join these frameworks as it will enable us to channel the knowledge and expertise of our teams into this new technology and allow Assystem to create interesting careers in science and engineering for graduates today. 

Last year Assystem commissioned the Institute of Mechanical Engineers to produce a report, Fusion Energy: A global effort, a UK opportunity, assessing the opportunities presented by the progression of fusion technology in the UK and globally. The report can be read here.  

ENDS 

 

ABOUT ASSYSTEM 

In its 13 countries of operation, Assystem’s 6,000+ experts are supporting energy transition. To achieve an affordable low-carbon energy supply, Assystem is committed to the development of decarbonised electricity (nuclear, renewables and electricity grids) and clean hydrogen. The Group is also helping drive the use of decarbonised electricity in industrial sectors such as transportation. Assystem is currently ranked as the second nuclear engineering group in the world. 

 For more information please visit www.assystem.com  

Follow Assystem on Twitter: @Assystem @AssystemUK 

 

ABOUT FUSION 

Fusion research aims to copy the process that powers the sun for a new large-scale source of low carbon energy here on earth.  

 When light atoms fuse together to form heavier ones, a large amount of energy is released. To do this, a few grams of hydrogen fuels are heated to extreme temperatures, 10 times hotter than the centre of the sun, forming a plasma in which fusion reactions take place. A commercial fusion power station would use the energy produced by fusion reactions to generate electricity. 

 Fusion has huge potential as a safe, sustainable, low carbon energy source.  

 

ABOUT UKAEA 

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) carries out fusion energy research on behalf of the UK Government. UKAEA oversees the UK’s fusion programme, headed by the MAST Upgrade (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment. It also hosts the world’s largest fusion research facility, JET (Joint European Torus), which it operates for scientists from around Europe. Researchers from the EUROfusion consortium – 4,800 experts, students and staff from across Europe, co-funded by the European Commission – achieved world-record levels of fusion energy from JET in Oxford in December 2021. 

 More information: https://www.gov.uk/ukaea. Social Media: @UKAEAofficial