Nuclear fusion commission for engineering business

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Engineering specialist Sheffield Forgemasters will begin exploring how to manufacture a vital part of a new facility to demonstrate nuclear fusion technology.

The General Fusion project is an important step to bringing the benefits of zero-carbon fusion energy to the world.

The Fusion Demonstration Plant will showcase General Fusion’s Magnetized Target Fusion nuclear power technology at the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Culham Campus, which is a leading hub of fusion research.

Sheffield Forgemasters is using its extensive experience and manufacturing capabilities in nuclear power to develop a specification and method of manufacture for the interior vessel of the plant – a forged, thick-walled pressure vessel body.

Jesus Talamantes-Silva, research, design and technology director at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “Fusion energy has the potential to be the fuel of the future – the key to carbon-free economies. We are thrilled to collaborate with General Fusion.

“Our initial remit includes evaluation of potential steel grades, modelling of forging and heat treatment processes and their effects on microstructure and properties.

“The scale and manufacturing complexity of the vessel presents significant challenges at all stages, which combined with an element of ‘concurrent design’, requires a flexible and responsive approach to the work.”

Sheffield Forgemasters is establishing practical manufacturing solutions for all aspects of manufacture for the vessel, including steelmaking and forging, heat treatment, mechanical and non-destructive testing, machining and metrology.