PIONEERING work on low carbon energy at an Oxfordshire science centre got the royal seal of approval this week with a visit from the Duke of York.

Prince Andrew toured the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) on Wednesday to see first hand fusion energy research at Culham Science Centre, near Abingdon.

Culham is home to JET – the Joint European Torus – the world’s largest fusion experiment, which UKAEA operates for scientists around Europe.

The Royal talked to researchers and learned of its role in paving the way for fusion reactors which could one day provide low carbon energy to people around the globe. He was shown round the facility by officials from UKAEA, Eurofusion (the consortium that manages the JET research programme) and the European Commission.

The Duke also heard how the research at Culham will help hi-tech companies to win contracts on major projects on the path to delivering commercial fusion power.

UKAEA is working with international partners to prepare the world’s first reactor-scale fusion experiment, Iter, scheduled to start up in France in 2025.

Over €500m of deals on Iter have already gone to British firms and a similar amount is expected in the coming years.

UKAEA chief executive Professor Ian Chapman said: “His Royal Highness was very interested in the potential of fusion.

“JET is both an important part of Britain’s hi-tech landscape, and the largest European science facility in the UK.

“We were delighted to show The Duke around JET and explain its vital role in international fusion research.”