Culham Science Centre - Science Vale

Culham Science Centre

This internationally renowned centre for fusion-energy research, development and robotics, is a prime location for organisations involved in cutting-edge science and technology. With a campus style developed through links with UK universities including Oxfords, Culham Science Centre keeps on evolving.
Ariel shot of Culham Science Centre Culham Science Centre - image courtesy of Culham Science Centre

Culham Science Centre, owned by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), is at the forefront of the drive to develop clean, sustainable energy sources.  Few business parks offer you such a productive blend of big ideas and campus-style camaraderie.  Culham’s cosmopolitan community attracts a wide range of science and technology-based businesses that thrive on the opportunities available at this unique location.

Culham Science Centre offers a range of commercial property on flexible terms.  It welcomes companies needing anything from start-up, virtual serviced offices via the Culham Innovation Centre, to laboratories and offices for mid to large organisations.  For youngsters, Culham offers hi-tech and engineering apprenticeships at the site’s new Oxford Advanced Skills training school.

The atmosphere here is relaxed and collaborative.  Within Culham’s open green spaces you’ll find a conference centre with a 234-seat lecture theatre, a restaurant, a café and a deli bar.  There are sports facilities and social clubs.  Whatever your professional or spare-time interests, you’ll be pursuing them with like-minded people.

UKAEA activities at Culham Science Centre

The UKAEA is currently focused on three main areas.

Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE)

CCFE is home to the Joint European Torus (JET) and the fusion-research arm of the UKAEA.  JET is the world’s largest magnetic-confinement fusion device.  Researchers use it to investigate the potential of fusion power as a safe, clean and virtually limitless energy source for future generations.

CCFE also hosts another fusion-research device, the Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST).  A tokamak uses powerful magnetic fields to hold fusion plasma in a tightly compressed donut shape.  The tighter the donut (as close to spherical as possible), the more efficiently it runs as a fusion energy source.  An upgrade to MAST will be operational in late 2017.

Materials Research Facility (MRF)

MRF is a new facility at Culham Science Centre.  Its purpose is to find the most suitable materials for use in nuclear reactors.

Academic and industrial researchers at the MRF examine tiny samples of irradiated materials to see if and by how much, radiation may have degraded them.  Knowing which materials retain their strength and other physical properties when subjected to intense radiation helps engineers build better reactors.

Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE)

RACE is another new facility (opened in 2016).  It offers state-of-the-art testing for remotely controlled and robotic equipment for use in hazardous environments such as nuclear reactors and deep-sea oil and gas operations.  The expertise at RACE comes from over 20 years of developing remote-handling technology for the JET fusion device at Culham.

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