Remote-handling challenges in fusion research and beyond

Energy-producing nuclear fusion reactions taking place in tokamaks cause radiation damage and radioactivity. Remote-handling technology for repairing and replacing in-vessel components has evolved enormously over the past two decades — and is now being deployed elsewhere too.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Remote-handling systems used to service the JET tokamak.


Figure 2: Tokamak blanket segment removal.
Figure 3: Tokamak divertor cassette removal.


  1. 1

    Cowley, S. C. Nature Phys. 12, 384–386 (2016).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Ongena, J., Koch, R., Wolf, R. & Zohm, H. Nature Phys. 12, 398–410 (2016).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Knaster, J., Moeslang, A. & Muroga, T. Nature Phys. 12, 424–434 (2016).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Stork, D. et al. Fusion Eng. Des. 89, 1586–1594 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Loving, A. et al. Fusion Eng. Des. 89, 2246–2250 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Loving, A. et al. Fusion Eng. Des. 87, 880–884 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Raimondi, T. Fusion Eng. Des. 11, 196–208 (1989).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Mills, S. et al. Fusion Technol. 1, 1139–1142 (1998).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Sykes, N. et al. Fusion Eng. Des. 86, 1843–1846 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Interview with Bernard Bigot. Nature Phys. 12, 395–397 (2016).

  11. 11

    Stork, D. et al. J. Nucl. Mater. 455, 277–291 (2014).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    A Conceptual Study of Commercial Fusion Power Plants (EFDA, 2005);

  13. 13

    Crofts, O. et al. Fusion Eng. Des. 89, 2283–2387 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Rob Buckingham or Antony Loving.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Buckingham, R., Loving, A. Remote-handling challenges in fusion research and beyond. Nature Phys 12, 391–393 (2016).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing