THE world’s largest magnetic fusion experiment, the Joint European Torus [JET], based in Oxfordshire, has been given a shot in the arm as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

The largely EU-funded project based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy involves about 500 people including 350 European scientists conducting research.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said yesterday that the UK government was committed to underwrite the JET project once the funding ends after Brexit.

He said of the funding pledge: “JET is a prized facility at the centre of the UK’s global leadership in nuclear fusion research, which is why the government is taking every possible step to secure its future and to maintain highly-skilled jobs in the UK.

“Combined with our Industrial Strategy and investment of £4.7 billion for research and development, [Tuesday’s] funding commitment highlights the importance we place on this partnership and our desire for this valuable work to continue uninterrupted.

“The JET project is home to the world’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion reactor and has led global efforts to develop a clean, safe energy source.”

It supports 1,300 jobs in the UK and is managed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

The EU currently provides about £60m of funding each year, representing 88 per cent of its running costs.