CRA Consultant Lavinia Raganelli attended the first Fusion Interest Group organised by Nuclear Industry Association and the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy on 10 July 2019.
Lavinia joined a tour of the Joint European Torus (JET) tokamak complex and of the Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) facility. During the tour she saw the JET tokamak being warmed up for the next experimental campaign which will start in August and run for 6 months. She also witnessed the great work undertaken by UKAEA and other partners at the RACE facility for the development of robots and remote handling systems.
During the afternoon talks Lavinia learned about the future of JET and the latest developments in the construction of ITER, the world’s largest fusion machine. There were also presentations about other fusion designs being developed in the UK by Tokamak Energy and First Light Fusion.
During the event Lavinia discovered how complex it can be to design bespoke machines that perform routine and unplanned maintenance in highly hazardous environments. A good example of this is MASCOT, the remote handling machine used in JET and designed by RACE.
Lavinia also took the opportunity to develop her network and interact with other engineers interested in the latest developments in fusion energy.
In her work for CRA, Lavinia is a key member of the Advanced Risk Analytics (ARA) team. This team has experience in working with innovative projects both at the design and operations stages. The team can support the design of innovative machinery helping engineers enhance safety. An ARA study can also help designers look at performance data for their robots, remote handling machine or any bespoke engineering system to optimise their maintenance, reduce downtime and improve performance. Attending the fusion group provided Lavinia with practical insights that will inform and enhance her ARA work.