The design of a fusion power plant presents many engineering challenges, many of them unique and requiring unusual engineering solutions. Designing a reactor vessel that can cope with the combination of high thermal and irradiation power loads without cracking or melting requires the use materials not normally used for building engineering structures. In addition these in-vessel structures must also breed the tritium fuel to ensure the reactor is self-sufficient whilst also heating the primary cooling fluid that is used to generate electricity. These individual roles present conflicting requirements for construction and operation and the talk will discuss some of the proposed solutions and the technology gaps.

Dr Elizabeth Surrey is Head of Technology at UKAEA, responsible for the UK’s technology contribution to the EU Demonstrator programme, the device to follow ITER. Joining UKAEA over 30 years ago she worked on charged particle beam applications for industry and defence and provided positive and negative ion particle beam systems to industrial and research users for medical, semiconductor and accelerator applications. Joining the fusion programme in 2000, she was instrumental in founding the new Fusion Technology Programme at Culham in 2011, which she has lead ever since. The Technology Programme covers all aspects of fusion power plant design, in particular the interfaces between different systems.