The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
The United Kingdom Atomic
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The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)

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The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)

Politics and Administration

Description

The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority is a UK government research organisation responsible for the development of fusion energy. It is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The authority focuses on United Kingdom and European fusion energy research programmes at Culham in Oxfordshire, including the world's most powerful operating fusion device, the Joint European Torus (JET). The research aims to develop fusion power as a commercially viable, environmentally responsible energy source for the future.

A record 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy was demonstrated by scientists and engineers working on JET in December 2021.

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority owns the Culham Science Centre and has a stake in the Harwell Campus, and is involved in the development of both sites as locations for science and innovation-based business.

On its formation in 1954, the authority was responsible for the United Kingdom's entire nuclear programme, both civil and defence, as well as the policing of nuclear sites. It made pioneering developments in nuclear (fission) power, overseeing the development of nuclear technology and performing much scientific research. However, since the early 1970s its areas of work have been gradually reduced, with functions transferred to other government organisations as well as to the private sector.

UKAEA has also been involved in undertaking safety and reliability assessments for outside bodies, due to its long running experience in such work within the nuclear field.

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