29 October 2014
Venue: ArtsTwo Lecture Theatre, ArtsTwo Building, Mile End Campus
Is fusion energy one of the only truly sustainable options for energy supply? In a decade, the largest fusion machine in history ITER will start operating in the south of France. This international fusion experiment will generate up to 500 megawatts of power and provide a proof of principle for fusion energy.
Professor Cowley, CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority will describe the scientific progress in fusion - from Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington's prophetic predictions in 1920 to the remarkable results from European (JET) and UK (MAST) reactors based at Culham, UK. The EU will fund JET for five years of experimental campaigns leading to fusion power shots in 2017 and 2018 that will aim to break the world record of fusion power. However it is a long journey and it is not finished Professor Cowley will outline the challenging problems that must be solved to make fusion power a commercial option and the worldwide efforts to find their solution.
Professor Steven Cowley (BA, Oxford, PhD Princeton) became Director of the UK Atomic Energy Authority's Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in September 2008 and Chief Executive of the UK Atomic Energy Authority in November 2009. Currently he is also a member of the Prime Ministers Council on Science and Technology, a fellow of the Institute of Physics and of the Royal Society. His main research interest is in realising fusion power and is the author of more than 150 published papers. From 2001 to 2003 he led the plasma physics group at Imperial College London where he remains a part time professor.