Minister welcomes international collaboration on laser fusion energy
Science Minister, David Willetts MP, speaking at the Royal Society(Credit:HiPER/STFC)
A memorandum of understanding (MOU), which will see STFC collaborating with UK industry and US physicists in the quest for viable laser fusion energy, has been welcomed by David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science.
The MOU - signed recently between STFC, AWE and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) - will facilitate technical exchanges which could lead to the design, development and deployment of power plants based on laser fusion energy. The collaboration will involve the STFC-led High Power Laser Energy Research Facility (HiPER), AWE's Orion laser facility, and the National Ignition Facility (NIF), hosted by LLNL. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of laser fusion as a source of commercial energy production.
Over 180 experts and industry professionals gathered at The Royal Society for a conference under the banner 'Laser energy - an opportunity for UK industry'.
Speaking at the event, Mr Willetts said the Government understood the importance of a secure, reliable and affordable energy supply and laser energy had the potential to make a major contribution.
"Commercially, the UK could be a big player in the global laser market which is a very exciting prospect", he said. "We are at the heart of international collaboration in laser fusion energy. I hope this MoU between AWE, STFC and LLNL will be a precursor to closer collaboration between the UK and US."
More information about the potential of laser fusion is available on the HiPER web site (link opens in a new window)
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