Nuclear Fusion: Technology Risk

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Date(s) - 07/06/2022
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm



Nuclear Fusion: Technology Risk

Hazards Forum hybrid event at the Institute of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, Westminster


Nuclear fusion is the way the stars produce energy. We have tried to reproduce nuclear fusion on earth since the fifties. Recently, many new projects in nuclear fusion are taking off, backed by public and private investment. Many of these projects are achieving early milestones and are seen in the press. At the same time, the UK government is working to develop a regulatory framework that considers possible risks to the health and safety of fusion while not discouraging research and development. For this event, the Hazards Forum will bring experts from different areas of risk management to provide a complete picture of the risks surrounding new fusion technical developments. Our three speakers will focus on:

  • Overview of the state of fusion industry and recent breakthroughs in the science and technology.
  • Technology risks – why we think fusion plants will pose fewer hazards than fission plants and what other risks technology developers must consider.
  • Government perspective in trying to ensure risks are reduced to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) while still creating a positive environment for research and development.


Ellie Campbell is a fusion policy advisor at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).  Ellie works on domestic fusion policy, focussing on developing a regulatory framework for fusion.

The title of Ellie’s talk is ‘Summarising government work on developing a regulatory framework for fusion’. The presentation will summarise the Government’s proposals for a regulatory framework for fusion that were laid out in the Green Paper, Towards Fusion Energy (Oct 2021).

The Green Paper set out the proposed regulatory framework for fusion energy, based on the principle that any regulatory framework should serve to maintain safety, security and environmental protection in a way that is proportionate to the hazards involved.


Dr. Sally Forbes and Dr. Bethany Colling from the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) will give their talk on ‘Hazards of Fusion Power Plant’.

Sally has worked at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy for four years, and is the Fusion Safety Authority for UKAEA.  In this role, she leads a small team providing technical expertise in fusion safety, security & environment, supporting the development of the regulatory framework for future fusion power plant.  Prior to working in fusion, Sally had 20 year experience in the nuclear industry, including the development of safety cases and safety management processes.




Bethany joined UKAEA in 2013, originally in neutronics, moving to regulatory development in 2021. She is a chartered engineer with over 10 years’ experience in fusion energy research, including a PhD from Lancaster University. Bethany is providing technical support to BEIS on fusion safety and regulation, and contributing to international and domestic collaborations and engagement activities in support of a proportionate regulatory framework for fusion power plants.




Valerie Jamieson is a The Fusion Cluster development manager at the UK Atomic Energy Authority and will give a talk on ‘The global fusion industry landscape’.

Valerie’s role is to encourage collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation between companies and organisations interested in fusion energy and all the exciting technologies that make it happen. She recently joined UKAEA to set up a new fusion cluster after many years at New Scientist. Valerie has a PhD in particle physics from the University of Glasgow.  

There is growing excitement about fusion energy as an option to contribute to the world’s low-carbon energy supply. In this talk, Valerie will reveal how increasing numbers of private companies are aiming to deliver commercial fusion and producing significant breakthroughs in the science and technology that will lead to a commercial power plant.

Event Chair

Dr Lavinia Raganelli

Lavinia is a risk and safety consultant at Corporate Risk Associates, having joined the company full time in 2018. She also has a doctorate in probabilistic risk assessment from Imperial College London. Lavinia has been involved with the Hazards Forum for over 3 years and she is also the risk lead for the Women in Nuclear board of directors.




Registration, tea and coffee is available from 17.30, and lectures will commence at 18.00.  The event will conclude with a networking drinks reception.

To book onto this event, in-person or you may join remotely, please go to the ICE website.

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