UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire on 8 August, the same day he announced that the UK would change rules to allow for fast-track visas to bring in elite scientists and make the UK “even more welcoming” for the profession.
“It was fantastic to visit Culham Science Centre today and meet the men and women who are helping to invent a sustainable fusion reactor," commented Johnson.
“The UK is leading the world in this sector, thanks in significant part to the work of the UK Atomic Energy Authority. 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.”
The Culham site is known for its world-leading nuclear fusion research, and is home to the Joint European Tourus (JET), the largest and most powerful fusion experiment as well MAST (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment. Research at JET supports the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter), under construction in southern France, acting acts as a testbed for Iter technologies and plasma operating scenarios.While at the Culham facility, the PM praised the site and the UK Atomic Energy Agency (UKAEA) for its ‘world-leading’ research into nuclear fusion, including the MAST Upgrade fusion experiment that is being used to research compact designs for future fusion power reactors. He also spoke to UKAEA apprentices ahead of the opening of a £12m apprentice training centre that will open at the site in September.
“We were delighted that the Prime Minister chose Culham as the place to make his first science announcement," said UKAEA CEO Ian Chapman.
He added: “Fusion energy’s huge potential is well known and the PM reiterated the Government’s support for UKAEA’s research. We also showed him how the Materials Research Facility and RACE are providing spill over benefits and supporting UK industry in adjacent fields, at the same time as working towards delivering sustainable fusion energy."
Photo: Boris Johnson visited Culham on 8 August