We’re at the forefront of fusion energy and its related technologies. We’re on a mission to deliver safe, sustainable, low-carbon energy from fusion, achieving maximum scientific and economic benefit along the way.
Who we are
We run the UK’s national fusion energy research programme, and we’re sponsored by the UK Government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
We’re proud to be a diverse and inclusive employer, offering opportunities to people from all backgrounds. Help us fuel the future — apply now to join our growing team.
A brief history of UKAEA
PIONEERING AN INDUSTRY
The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is established to supervise the nation’s nuclear research programme. We lead the development of the world’s first commercial nuclear power station at Calder Hall, Cumbria. We also begin to research fusion energy — first at Harwell, then at Culham in the early 1960s.
Exploration into commercial and non-nuclear activities begins. We also lead plans to develop new types of fast and gas-cooled reactors.
A nuclear-related research off-shoot is formed to oversee our commercial side. It is privatised by 1996.
CIVIL NUCLEAR PROGRAMME ENDED
We turn our attention to restoring the environment of nuclear sites — becoming a world leader in nuclear decommissioning. When our 15th reactor ZEBRA is dismantled in 2005, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is formed. They take over the clean-up, with UKAEA as a contractor.
FOCUS ON FUSION
Our involvement in nuclear decommissioning ends. Our commercial arm, UKAEA Ltd, is sold to Babcock International Group PLC. UKAEA shifts efforts to focus on fusion energy research, at Culham Science Centre. A new site in Rotherham is opened in 2021.
Our world-leading facilities and programmes
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE)
Our fusion research and development arm — at the heart of international research since the 1960s.
Materials Research Facility (MRF)
We’re preparing and examining samples of materials to assess their suitability for use in fusion power plants — plus other related fields of science and technology.
Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE)
We’re conducting research, development and commercial activities in robotics — pioneering autonomous systems for fusion and other industries.
Fusion Technology Facilities (FTF)
At sites in Culham, Oxfordshire and Rotherham, South Yorkshire, we’re developing and testing components able to withstand conditions found inside a fusion power plant.
Hydrogen-3 Advanced Technology (H3AT)
Our world-first fusion fuel research centre. We’re studying how to process, store and recycle tritium (Hydrogen-3) — integral for commercial fusion power stations.
Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP)
Our ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion energy plant —operational as soon as 2040.
All of these ventures are part of our mission to harness the power of the sun — to deliver sustainable, low-carbon fusion energy with maximum scientific and economic benefit.
Our mission and values
We’re here to harness the power of the sun — to deliver sustainable, low-carbon fusion energy with maximum scientific and economic benefit. And we’ve got four interconnected goals that will get us there:
Be a leader in world fusion research and development.
Enable the delivery of sustainable fusion power plants.
Drive economic growth and high-tech jobs in the UK.
Accelerate innovation and develop skilled people for the industry.
Integral to our success is a world-class inclusive work place, with employees from all backgrounds. There is a historic lack of diversity in our industry — so we’re tackling that head-on, recruiting more women and people from under-represented groups. Our welcoming culture and innovative benefits are built to bring out the best in everyone — giving you what you need to bring about the future of energy.
Our core values are:
They’re at the heart of our Management Development Programme, mentoring scheme, and wide range of employee support packages. We take our employees’ wellbeing, career goals and personal aspirations seriously — read our case studies to see how we’ve helped develop individuals across the organisation.
Working for UKAEA
We’re looking for people who want to shape the future of power — by bringing their unique energy to work. Only authenticity and diversity can power the development of sustainable fusion energy.
Work. Life. We help you get the balance right — because a revolution in energy requires… well, energy.
Our benefits include:
Flexible and hybrid working options.
Family-friendly policies and benefits.
Employees are automatically enrolled into our combined pension scheme.
30.5 days annual leave which includes privilege days and 3 days for Christmas, plus 8 bank holidays.
Bonus scheme paid on an annual basis.
We also take career development seriously, offering anything from professionally accredited schemes to skills-based training courses. Our strong links with many UK universities mean we run excellent graduate and apprenticeship programmes, as well as PhD placements.
For a glimpse into life working at UKAEA — and detailed information on the career benefits we offer — follow the link below.
We want to help develop you and your career, which is why there are plenty of training and development opportunities available to our staff members.
I was excited by the opportunity for scientific research into an important problem for the world.