Nuclear Technology

Webinar: Chemical Engineering in Fusion

Webinar: Chemical Engineering in Fusion
  • Date From 20th September 2023
  • Date To 20th September 2023
  • Price Free of charge, open to all.
  • Location Online: 10:00 BST. Duration: 1 hour.


The Tritium/Deuterium fusion reaction is the most promising option to achieve sustainable net energy output. To achieve a burning fusion reaction, these isotopes of hydrogen require specific conditions and handling. For example, in magnetic confinement machines, the fuel is fired into a plasma as frozen pellets of hydrogen.

Within the reactor, the product of the fusion reaction, Helium-4, can quench the reaction if its concentration builds up and so material needs to be exhausted. The removal rate is high and due to transport phenomena less that 1% of the hydrogen isotopes that enter react. As the tritium is radioactive and expensive, the exhaust gas needs to be processed and recycled and hence a Fusion Fuel Cycle is required.

This Fuel Cycle is chemical engineering heaven, with applications of many unit operations – some very familiar such as adsorption and others very specific such as hydriding. This talk will describe the Fuel Cycle of ITER, the largest ongoing project to demonstrate fusion technology and explain how chemical engineering is contributing.


Ian Bonnett, Tritium Plant Section Leader, ITER Organisation

Ian is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and a member of the Reliability and Safety Society. He has over 20 years' industrial experience working across the breath of the nuclear sector from nuclear fission power plants, fuel cycle operations, decommissioning, defence, fusion and radio-pharmaceutical manufacturing.

This experience was acquired through a career working internationally for organisations such Amersham International, GE Hitachi, AREVA and ITER. He has authored multiple papers on tritium technology and tritium plant delivery and has numerous associated patents. Today, Ian is the Tritium Plant Section Leader at ITER, responsible for the design and delivery of the world’s largest Tritium Plant.

The material presented in this webinar has not been peer-reviewed. Any opinions are the presenter's own and do not necessarily represent those of IChemE or the Nuclear Technology Special Interest Group. The information is given in good faith but without any liability on the part of IChemE.  


10:00–11:00 BST.


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This webinar is free of charge and open to all to attend, but if you wish to access the slides and a recording to replay on demand then you will need to be a member of the Nuclear Technology Special Interest Group.

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