Specialist material helps with nuclear fusion breakthrough

A Cambridge-based manufacturer of specialist metals and materials is playing a key role in the nuclear fusion breakthrough that could change the way we power the world.

Goodfellow, who supplies over 6,000 customers across the world, provided materials to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California for the eagerly awaited experiment.

On 13th December 2022, researchers confirmed that they have overcome one of the major barriers to producing clean energy from fusion: producing more energy from the experiment than was put in.

Nuclear fusion has long been heralded as the future of clean energy. It is the opposite of nuclear fission, the technology currently used in nuclear power stations, but fission produces a lot of waste and radiation that can be dangerous.

In contrast, fusion is a much cleaner solution, does not contribute to climate change and produces a more abundant energy. There are many challenges to the successful production of nuclear fusion but, before this announcement, no experiment has successfully produced more energy output than the amount put in.

“We know there’s a long way to go before nuclear fusion powers our homes,” said Goodfellow’s CEO Simon Kenney. “However, we’re excited to have been able to partner with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to supply some of the crucial materials used in this fascinating and successful experiment.”

Dr Aphrodite Tomou, Goodfellow’s Head of Technical, added her support: “It is a great success for the National Ignition Facility at LLNL! This is the breakthrough everybody has been waiting for and it is exciting to have played a small, but critical part in supporting them on their journey to this discovery.”

Goodfellow is a supplier of specialist metals and materials to the scientific and industrial manufacturing sectors and have partnered with many businesses to support their research and development departments.

Many of the company’s materials have been used in landmark projects, including the Cassini Huygens probe that landed on Saturn’s moons, COVID-19 vaccine development and medical devices including aiding hearing in deaf children.




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