An international workshop was hosted on 22 October in the Baylis Conference Centre, Slough by UKAEA Culham Division’s Fusion and Industry team. With the decision on whether and where to build ITER expected within a year, the Euratom-UKAEA Association brought together the ITER Director and senior ITER project managers from across Europe to brief over 70 UK companies on the technology associated with ITER and business opportunities arising from its construction and operation. The workshop was attended by over 120 delegates and some 25 companies also exhibited.

In the lead up to the workshop UKAEA had researched the UK market for companies with the skills and technology experience needed to bid for ITER contracts. The seminar was the first opportunity for many companies to learn about the scale of ITER, the project technologies and timescale as well as meeting ITER design engineers.

The day started with an overview of ITER by Dr. R. Aymar and a presentation by Dr. J.- P. Rager (European Commission) on European involvement in ITER. Two technical presentations were made before lunch: Dr. N. Mitchell (ITER Joint Work Site Naka) on magnets, cryogenic systems and magnet power supplies and Dr. D. Campbell (EFDA-CSU Garching) on heating and current drive, diagnostics and control. After lunch further technical talks were given by Dr. D. Murdoch (EFDA-CSU Garching) on tritium systems and civil engineering, Dr. R. Tivey (ITER Joint Work Site Garching) on in vessel components and materials assessment and Dr. D. Maisonnier (EFDA-CSU Garching) on remote handling, hot cells and decommissioning. The day ended with presentations on opportunities for industry, the first by Dr. A. Chevalier from NNC (UK) on industrial involvement in fusion and the EFET industry grouping and the last by Dr. R. Freeman of the Diamond Synchotron Light Source, an example of a major new facility which is just starting its construction phase.

Delegates were also given plenty of time to chat informally to the speakers and to network in the exhibition area. They were invited to submit their companies’ details into an UK expertise directory being set up by the UKAEA Fusion and Industry Team.

R. Aymar and J.-P. Rager welcomed the initiative taken by the UKAEA Fusion and Industry. “ITER construction will be characterised by the awarding of very large complex contracts, worth over 100 million Euros, but also smaller conventional contracts will also be awarded particularly involving SMEs. We believe industry has a far greater role to play in ITER construction than earlier projects and are delighted to see there is such interest from UK companies.”

Technology transfer from fusion research is bringing tangible benefits to many UK and European companies. You would like to find out how your company can tap into the skills and technologies of fusion research to make a real difference to your product development, quality systems and ultimately competitive edge?

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