Two years after completing my undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Bath, I rejoined the academic world and started an MSc in Nuclear Science and Engineering at the University of Bristol – an area I had long thought to be essential in the transition from fossil fuels. This course focused my passion on fusion, leading to me joining the fusion CDT.
With Bangor University and the UKAEA, I am undertaking a PhD researching tritium production. Due to the much lower activation energy of the deuterium-tritium reaction in contrast to other fusion mixtures, it is considered to be the most promising candidate for fusion power plants (FPPs). The limiting factor of this is the scarcity of tritium. Currently, the view of the fusion industry is that tritium will be bred in situ in lithium-containing breeder blankets. These blankets will require replacement and increase the complexity of an FPP, while also increasing the hazard potential and the need for increased safety and possible safeguard issues. This project will investigate novel tritium production methods and the overall feasibility and associated challenges of producing tritium on an industrial scale to support the deployment of FPPs that do not have to produce their own tritium.”