MAST Upgrade

MAST Upgrade news

ImageLatest news: November 2017

The Great MAST Upgrade Bake Off
A key target on the whole MAST Upgrade project will be reached this week as the machine is now ready to be ‘baked'.

Baking the vacuum vessel to temperatures of around 160 degrees C is vital in cleaning interior surfaces and enabling the ultra-high vacuum required for routine MAST Upgrade operation.

September 2017

Just add plasma
The interior of the UK's new fusion experiment MAST Upgrade is complete – and here it is in all its glory.

April 2017

Funding for MAST Upgrade enhancements announced
Culham's new tokamak MAST Upgrade is to receive funding to tackle one of the hottest issues in fusion energy research – plasma exhaust.

March 2017

MAST Upgrade: fitting the last piece of the puzzle
On 7 March, the finishing straight got one (major) step closer for the new MAST Upgrade tokamak, with the lifting and positioning of the centre column into the heart of the machine.  

November 2016

MAST Upgrade physics planning in full swing
Planning of the first physics experiments on MAST Upgrade towards the end of 2017 is well underway.

Sealing MAST Upgrade in style!
The 10-tonne upper end plate – effectively the top lid of MAST Upgrade's hi-tech steel can – was lifted into place and successfully sealed to the vacuum vessel on 16 November.

Centre tube the latest piece in the MAST-U jigsaw
One of MAST Upgrade’s most important components is now safely installed as the pieces of the UK’s tokamak experiment continue to come back together.

October 2016

Gleaming beamline will put the heat into MAST Upgrade
Here's a glimpse into one of the completed MAST Upgrade Neutral Beam heating systems – and at some exquisite fusion engineering.

July 2016

Close encounters of the MAST kind
It may look like a UFO, but it's actually the latest big component to go into the new MAST Upgrade tokamak, now being assembled at CCFE.

May 2016

MAST Upgrade's big move
Wednesday 25 May was a significant day for the MAST Upgrade project, as the main body of the UK’s new fusion device was lifted into place – all 41 tonnes of it.

March 2016

MAST-U bolometer gets better connected
We all live in an ever more connected world; and being connected with their data is especially important for tokamak physicists. New technologies are enabling data systems for MAST Upgrade to be developed at a remarkably low cost and with real-time availability. 

March 2016

Off the page and into the pit
Last week progress on the MAST Upgrade project took another step from the ‘page’ to completion, when the tokamak's bottom plate was lowered into place in the machine area. It is the first part of the new machine to go into the area and was therefore a big moment for the MAST-U team.

January 2016

Painting it black
The MAST Upgrade vacuum vessel is getting a paint job – and its new look will ensure the experiment produces top-quality plasma physics data when it starts operating next year.

January 2016

MAST Upgrade: the final push 
Almost a month into 2016, and the MAST Upgrade project is approaching the finishing straight at Culham. 

December 2015

MAST Upgrade's year in review
The momentum is building on the MAST Upgrade project at CCFE, as the UK's new tokamak experiment heads into the final phase of assembly in 2016. Take a look at the progress during 2015 in the latest MAST-Upgrade video diary.

October 2015

Plasma heating puzzle comes together
The complex puzzle that makes up MAST Upgrade's main plasma heating system is well on the way to completion. The neutral beam injection (NBI) system will provide most of the heating power for MAST Upgrade (around 5 megawatts).

June 2015

Big moment for MAST Upgrade as key machine component arrives on site 
CCFE engineers last week took delivery of one of the key components for the MAST Upgrade tokamak. The centre rod is an integral part of forming the device’s ‘toroidal’ magnetic field which confines the hot plasma in its compact ‘cored apple’ shape.

June 2015

First major MAST Upgrade modules come together ahead of schedule
The joining of the first two main machine segments is another key step in the MAST Upgrade project.

April 2015

MAST Upgrade coil installation completed
The latest picture from the MAST Upgrade project shows the UK fusion machine's largest magnetic coil being carefully positioned into the vacuum vessel.

December 2014

Recipe for success 
Take one stainless steel tokamak component, bake in the oven for seven hours at 980 degrees C till it's just right…et voilà – it's ready to go into the fusion device.

December 2014

MAST rebuild continues with coil installation
The latest picture from the MAST Upgrade project shows the UK fusion machine's largest magnetic coil being carefully positioned into the vacuum vessel.

June 2014

MAST Upgrade project is well on track
The past couple of months have seen some big developments on MAST Upgrade – in particular, the delivery of the project's first two EPSRC milestones, both ahead of schedule.

March 2014

No bad vibes with MAST Upgrade laser test rig
Invisible laser beams, gold mirrors and bad vibrations. Welcome to the world of physicists Tom O'Gorman and Rory Scannell as they perfect the set-up for MAST Upgrade's CO2 interferometer on a test rig on the Culham site.

February 2014

Precision machining for new ports on MAST
New ports are being inserted all over MAST so that diagnostic equipment and power cables for the revamped machine can be fed through into the vessel.

January 2014

Lift-off for MAST Upgrade
It's all systems go for the upgrade of the UK's fusion experiment MAST after a nail-biting operation to move the entire machine was completed just before Christmas.

November 2013

Lifting the lid on MAST
Watch how CCFE engineers took the 9-tonne lid off the MAST fusion device, with this timelapse video.

Taking MAST apart - piece by piece
The first phase of the MAST Upgrade project continues with the removal of MAST's centre column.

October 2013

It's goodbye to MAST - and hello to MAST Upgrade
Fourteen years and 30,000 experiments on, MAST has run its last plasma; but work on MAST Upgrade has already begun.

July 2013

Coils will get to the heart of the matter
MAST Upgrade's Super-X divertor is going be a world-first – and manufacturing is underway on the magnetic coils that will steer the fusion plasma into it.

December 2012

Full steam ahead for MAST Upgrade
The first major element of the MAST Upgrade tokamak has arrived at Culham, as the project to upgrade the UK's fusion research device gathers pace.

November 2011

MAST Upgrade project moves to procurement stage
The project to upgrade the MAST tokamak at CCFE continues to move forward, with the launch of the first two significant tenders for machine hardware.

April 2011

First MAST Upgrade machine hardware arrives at Culham
A milestone in the project to upgrade the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak was reached earlier this month when the first machine component for the upgrade was delivered to Culham.

March 2010

UK fusion programme nails its colours to the MAST
The UK's innovative Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) facility at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy will receive a £30 million upgrade.