WCSIM Symposium – ‘Economically competitive fusion energy’
3 April 2023
Economically competitive fusion energy
A symposium run by The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers
Monday 3 April 2023
This year's WCSIM's SIMposium fits within the Lord Mayor's theme of "Financing the Future", which the Rt Hon Lord Mayor, Alderman Nicholas Lyons, promulgated in his Annual Address to the Livery.
Power from nuclear fusion has begun to attract the attention of investors across the world. While all nuclear-generated electricity to date has been based on fission or the "splitting of the atom", there is now considerable and revived interest in an alternative way of generating nuclear-based electricity, from nuclear fusion, which involves, put simply, squashing atoms together.
The aim of a fusion reactor is to generate extreme conditions like those found at the centre of the Sun, which will cause hydrogen atoms continually to combine to make helium, and release huge amounts of energy in the process, with little radioactive waste. While there has been progress in moving towards this goal, continuous energy production has still not been achieved, in spite of the significant research funding provided by many countries.
But new fusion enterprises are beginning to spring up, and they are attracting billions of pounds in private investment. Does this intriguing new phenomenon mean that we are closer than was commonly thought, to generating economically competitive fusion energy? The SIMposium has been organised in order to test this proposition, and to showcase the research and financial strategies being employed to overcome the scientific and engineering obstacles that lie along the path towards commercial viability.
Full details are available on their website.
About the SIMposium
Starting in 2006, the Master Scientific Instrument Maker has organised an annual SIMposium to focus on an important scientific topic of their choice, with the added proviso that younger researchers in the fields of interest to the Company should, ideally, be given a chance to demonstrate their contributions. To read about the history of this event please go here.
Normally this is an internal event with under 30’s invited for free and older members paying a small fee to cover the cost of refreshments.
This year’s event is being opened up to a wider audience in the Livery and to those in the industry. It will be held in the SIM Hall otherwise known as Glaziers’ Hall.
Fuellers benefit from the discounted Livery rate of £50
0930 Arrival – coffee and biscuits
1000 Leadership Session 1, Court Room - Chaired by Professor Philip Thomas, Master of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers
1000 Introduction: Professor Philip Thomas
1010 The global fusion landscape, Tom Davis (Oxford Sigma)
1040 Introduction to fusion – UKAEA perspective, Tim Bestwick, Chief Technology Officer & Director Strategy, Communications and Business Development at UK Atomic Energy Authority
1130 Leadership Session 2, Court Room - Chaired by Charles Holroyd, Deputy Master, Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers
1130 Private sector funding and valuation: An international perspective, Douglas Hansen-Luke (Executive Chairman, Future Planet Capital)
1200 Tokamak Energy – accelerating the development of commercial fusion, David Kingham (Tokamak Energy)
1230 Open challenges for measurement in fusion: Dr Lyn McWilliam (UKAEA) is an R&D Engineer at the H3AT (Tritium Advanced Technologies) Facility, and will present an overview of challenges in the fusion fuel cycle. Mr Adomas Lukenskas (UKAEA) is an Engineer working on Breeder Blanket technology for the STEP Prototype and will present some of the measurement challenges in flowing liquid metals like Lithium and Lithium-Lead.
1400 Scholarship Session, River Room
1400 (onwards) Opening of poster session, Prof. Tom Scott (Director of SW Nuclear Hub, University of Bristol)
1415 12 Posters, primarily from younger researchers in industry and university
1600 Tea available
Glaziers' Hall, 9 Montague Close London SE1 9DD
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