NuGen Properties

Special bunkers needed for world’s biggest laser


The Central Laser Facility (CLF) at Harwell will house the new Vulcan 20-20 laser, the most powerful laser in the world, to help scientists working on nuclear fusion.

To accommodate the 20-20  laser, two seven-metre-tall targeting bunkers need to be built, with walls and soffits up to 2.0 metres thick. They will be made with a specialised radiation-resistant concrete mixture that can shield beams a billion times hotter than the brightest sunlight.

The Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which runs the whole operation, has appointed Mace as main contractor under a pre-construction services agreement.

Mace previously managed the construction of the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre (EPAC) for the CLF and STFC and is working with the same project team to revamp the Vulcan Laser Facility – Fairhurst Design Group (architect), Glanville (civil and structural engineers), Hoare Lea (mechanical and electrical engineering), BB7 (fire engineering) and RSK (acoustic engineering).

Mace has been working with the Science & Technology Facilities Council since 2017, on the Rosalind Franklin Institute and the National Satellite Test Facility as well as the Extreme Photonics Applications Centre.

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