Jacobs wins new contract to support UK fusion programme


Engineers and scientists to work together on the world’s future low carbon energy source.

Jacobs has been appointed by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) to support the UK’s fusion energy research programme. The company has won a contract covering all lots of the UKAEA’s new plant maintenance and operational support services (PMOSS) framework.

Subject to competition under the framework, Jacobs’ project delivery professionals will be embedded in client teams at UKAEA, the UK’s national fusion laboratory, to work on some of the world’s most advanced research into machine design, robotics, materials science and fusion fuel.

Commenting on the contract win, Jacobs energy security and technology senior vice president Karen Wiemelt, said: “Assisting UKAEA to realise the enormous potential of fusion for generating safe, sustainable and low-carbon electricity delivers on our commitment to a clean energy future,” said “Fusion power would be a new source of safe, non-carbon emitting and almost limitless energy, which makes this endeavor one of the keys to creating a more connected, sustainable world.

Jacobs’ UKAEA chief technology officer, Tim Bestwick added: “Delivering fusion energy is a quest – one of the biggest scientific and engineering challenges of them all, but the rewards will be enormous. Putting fusion electricity on the grid has the potential to provide ‘baseload’ power, complementing renewable and other low carbon energy sources as a share of many countries’ energy portfolios.”

The PMOSS framework focuses on key UKAEA-led programmes, including the tritium advanced technology (H3AT) facility, which will open at UKAEA next year, aimed at exploring fuel storage, breeding and recovery techniques for future fusion powerplants.

Jacobs’ specialists will also be available to support other UKAEA facilities, such as remote applications in challenging environments (RACE), which tests and designs robotic and remote solutions, the material research facility (MRF), which researches specialist materials that can withstand extreme conditions and fusion technology facility (FTF) at Culham and in Rotherham, which will test fusion components in realistic conditions.

Jacobs has been at the forefront of fusion energy for decades, supporting UKAEA-managed Joint European Torus and ITER, the world’s largest fusion project based in Provence, France. Growth in fusion research is creating new opportunities for Jacobs’ engineers in a range of disciplines, including electrical, control and instrumentation, process plant, mechanical, chemical and nuclear and for scientists specialising in chemistry, physics and materials.