A PIONEERING Milton Park fusion energy company invited Wantage MP David Johnston to open its new offices.

He called in on Friday at Tokamak Energy, where the firm now employs over 85 staff, with plans to continue to grow further in Oxfordshire.

The company is working to develop fusion energy, which will be clean and safe and has raised over £117m of private investment to date.

The firm – based at the business park near Didcot – is developing a nuclear fusion reactor to produce energy the same way as the sun.

Fusion power is seen as the ‘Holy Grail’ of energy production because it would use small amounts of fuel to generate massive amounts of ‘clean’ electricity.

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Unlike nuclear fission reactors, fusion reactors also cannot have ‘meltdowns’ so are potentially safer.

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According to the company it has achieved plasma temperatures of over 15 million degrees, hotter than the centre of the sun, and is working towards reaching 100 million degrees this year.

Tokamak Energy was founded 10 years ago to accelerate the development of fusion energy and tackle climate change.

The firm has expanded rapidly based on two world-leading clusters in Oxfordshire: fusion energy and high temperature superconductors – and is now poised to solve one of mankind’s biggest challenges.

Mr Johnston said: “It is a great pleasure to open this new building for Tokamak Energy, a company that is working on rapid development of a technology that will be crucial to all our futures.

“This part of Oxfordshire has a unique combination of government funded science and privately funded innovators and entrepreneurs able to tackle huge challenges with bold new technology.”

Jonathan Carling, CEO of Tokamak Energy, said: “We are delighted to be expanding here in Oxfordshire where we are able to recruit exceptional talent for Tokamak Energy.

“We pride ourselves on having a highly-skilled team of scientists and engineers with a vast array of knowledge, experience and determination.

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“The world faces a huge challenge of global warming and fusion energy provides a crucial answer to the most pressing issue of our time.

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“Our work towards achieving fusion power demonstration by 2025 and grid connected power by 2030 will allow us to provide safe, clean and abundant energy for generations to come.”

Established in 2009, Tokamak Energy is a private company working to develop compact fusion power.

Uniquely it has a working prototype device that routinely produces high temperature plasma.

Fusion is the process that drives the sun and researchers at Tokamak Energy are working to replicate this process on earth.

According to bosses, fusion energy from tokamaks will be clean and safe, without any emission of carbon from combustion, radioactive waste or risk of meltdown.

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The company said: "This carbon-free energy is from plentiful materials and the energy density of the fuel is 10 million times greater than coal or oil.

"Tokamak Energy’s approach is to combine the new technology of high field strength, high temperature superconducting magnets with the efficiency advantages of the spherical tokamak, as pioneered at Culham and Princeton Laboratories.

This advanced technology, with a strong focus on efficiency, has the potential to achieve impressive results."

To date, Tokamak Energy has made important progress towards its target of fusion power generation by 2025 and a commercial power plant by 2030.

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It has built a tokamak with exclusively high temperature superconducting magnets, created the highest ever magnetic field in a spherical tokamak, and is working towards reaching fusion temperatures of 100 million degrees in 2020.

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The company is a spin-out from Culham Laboratory, the world-leading centre for magnetic fusion energy research.

It is addressing the enormous long-term global potential of fusion research, where the UK has a distinct global lead, and is seizing the moment when private investment in fusion energy is beginning to accelerate.

The company has raised over £117m to date from investors including Dr. Hans-Peter Wild, L&G Capital and David Harding, CEO of Winton.

David Kingham is co-founder and executive vice-chairman.

Mr Johnston became Conservative Wantage MP in the December general election.

For more information about the company visit the website tokamakenergy.co.uk.