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Category: Culham

Ep 1 – A day out to the hottest place in the solar system

An iconic building in the Oxfordshire countryside – obscured by trees!

On Feb 20, we took a short trip southeast from Abingdon to the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) otherwise known as JET (the Joint European Torus). Basically, it’s the world’s foremost (biggest, most advanced, most successful) research facility¬†for fusion energy.

It also means that temperatures at the core of the giant torus (or doughnut) regularly reach in excess of 100 million degrees centigrade.

We were there to chat to two members of JET’s Tritium Engineering Team – Sarah Medley and Zoltan Kollo – and if you want to know what tritium is, how crucial it is to the physics of fusion, and what fusion scientists and engineers do all day, then you’ll really enjoy this episode.

We conducted the interview in the Control Room – and felt incredibly privileged to do so.

It was a wonderful – and constantly surprising – interview. We discussed what it’s like to work in fusion, how you get to work in the field, and the challenges of working on the very frontiers of science.

We discuss the power of diversity in teams, there’s some great wisdom and advice to anyone wondering what subjects to study at school – and we bust a few stereotypes about scientists and engineers along the way…