UKAEA launches tritium training course

19 May 2023

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has launched a new tritium training course as part of its commitment to upskill the fusion industry. Hydrogen isotopes tritium and deuterium are seen as possible fuel of future fusion power plants. Managing, storing and supplying tritium fuel is vitally important for the commercialisation of fusion energy. UKAEA has been safely handling, processing and storing tritium for more than 40 years.

The course, which will take place in late June, is being launched for the wider fusion industry following a successful pilot course in April, attended by a team from private fusion company, First Light Fusion. It will cover tritium’s chemical properties, behaviours and safety factors, before considering tritium fuel cycle stages. It will also include the processes and equipment required within a tritium plant.

Hayley Taylor, Tritium Training, Development & Recruitment Manager for UKAEA, said: “UKAEA is committed to sharing our tritium knowledge to drive forward tritium research across the scientific and engineering community. Fusion energy has the potential to be a safe, low carbon and sustainable part of the world’s future energy supply. To make this happen, solutions must be found to address important challenges, such as supply, containment and quantification of tritium.”

Following the recent pilot tritium training course, Ryan Ramsey, Chief Operating Officer of First Light Fusion, said: “We recognise that training creates future capability in our growing team. Some of the skill sets we need are exceptionally niche and it’s difficult to find organisations that can train them. Being part of the Fusion Cluster has enabled an increase in collaboration as we all search to solve the challenge of fusion.” He added: “The training that UKAEA has provided has been really impressive and our team gained a great deal from the tritium course. The content matched what we needed and the delivery was engaging and focused.”

Attendees of the one-day, classroom-based course will have the opportunity to learn from UKAEA tritium experts and will also take a tour of UKAEA’s tritium processing plant. UKAEA says the course is applicable to industry, academia, start-ups, graduates, new starters, scientists, engineers and operators with a range of tritium knowledge. Organisations can also contact UKAEA to request bespoke sessions tailored to their areas of interest.

Image: UKAEA tritium trainers with the First Light Fusion team participating in the successful pilot of the tritium training course at Culham Campus (courtesy of UKAEA)

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