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In person: Energy from Nuclear Fusion: Novel Faster Approaches   Fully Booked

      Add to your calendar Last updated - 20/09/2022 18:15

Technical lecture
21 September 2022 19:30 - 20:45
This event has finished

Please note that the lecture will start at 7.30pm, but that refreshments will be available from 7pm.

This is the "in person" version in the Elwes Teaching Centre in PK-TC014 Tiered Lecture Room - do not book here for the "webinar" version.

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An IMechE/IET presentation.

Fusion is described as the ideal energy source because it is safe, the fuels inexhaustible, and the reaction not producing any carbon dioxide or long-lived radioactive waste. Additionally, because the energy density is very high, a fusion plant wouldn’t take up much space compared to renewables, which require a large surface area.

The fusion process involves forcing together positively-charged ions that ordinarily repel each other. It can only happen at very high temperatures - more than 100 million degrees C. At these high temperatures, the electrons of atoms break away from their nuclei to create a soup of very fast moving charged electrons and ions - known as plasma. Typically, the fuels of the fusion reaction will be two isotopes of hydrogen - deuterium and tritium – but fusion with other elements is, in principle, possible.

Several privately funded companies, especially in the USA and UK, are pursuing novel approaches that they hope will lead to commercial fusion energy earlier than conventional approaches. They are developing the basis of the fusion power plant of tomorrow, while commercialising the tech applications today.

There is some way to go with this technology before it becomes part of the world’s energy generation mix. However, world leading scientific, engineering, industrial and commercial capabilities are being combined to take things forward. Partnerships and collaborations, including with the US Department of Energy in the US and BEIS in the UK, are helping to accelerate progress. .

As the world tries to attain international climate policy goals and NetZero, the hope of commercial fusion energy that is clean, economic and globally deployable, becomes ever more exciting

Our speaker, an expert in the field, will address the physics behind fusion, how the energy potentially could be generated without the down side associated with fission, outline some of the promising approaches being followed, and give an indication of what we might expect in the future.

Our speaker is Dr Alan Costley

Alan gained a first degree in physics at Brunel and a PhD at Imperial. Broad experience was gained working in several different divisions of the NPL He was awarded the Charles Vernon Boys Prize of the Institute of Physics for distinguished research in experimental plasma physics by a young researcher. An elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, he has held senior positions at the JET fusion project, Culham Lab, and at the large-scale international fusion project, ITER, in France. Publishing extensively on fusion, mainly on plasma and fusion physics, he currently lectures on the UK Fusion Doctoral Training Network and consults for Tokamak Energy Ltd, UK, and government institutions in the UK and beyond.


Dr Alan Costley An elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, he has held senior positions at the JET fusion project, Culham Laboratory, and at the large-scale international fusion project, ITER, in Cadarache, France.


University of Gloucestershire, Park Campus, Elwes Building
The Park
GL50 2RH
United Kingdom

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Ed Samuel
United Kingdom
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