Researchers secure £7.4M UKAEA contract to develop lithium technologies for fusion

Congratulations to School of Chemistry researchers Professor Andy Mount, Dr Justin Elliott, Dr Ilka Schmueser and team, who have been awarded a contract to develop their innovative lithium technologies for fusion energy.

The project will focus on development of efficient continuous tritium capture and gaseous release through chemical control.

The University of Edinburgh is one of five UK institutions to secure a £7.4M contract with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) Fusion Industry Programme, which was launched in early 2023 to encourage organisations to develop and evaluate prototypes of lithium technology.

Fusion promises to be a safe, low carbon and sustainable part of the world’s future energy supply. In recent years there have been significant advances both in the UK and globally that demonstrate fusion’s potential. However, delivering fusion energy is still one of the great scientific and engineering challenges of our time. The Fusion Industry Programme is helping to engage organisations and industrial partners to stimulate innovation and address these important challenges.

Commenting on the recent UKAEA award Professor Andy Mount commented;

‘Engaging the expertise of our fusion engineering partners/stakeholders and utilising our signature UK Pyrochemical Research Laboratory (PRL) and collocated Molten Salts in Nuclear Technology Laboratory (MSNTL) facilities, our School of Chemistry team will carry out the underpinning research and development aimed at breeding tritium fuel efficiently and sustainably. This addresses a key requirement of the Deuterium-Tritium fusion reactor systems currently being developed to meet net zero energy needs and address the climate crisis.’

Full press release on the UKAEA websiteUKAEA awards £7.4m to develop lithium technologies for fusion - GOV.UK (

Fusion Industry Programme map