The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), aims to establish a national programme that will explore options, challenges and solutions for accelerating fusion delivery. The programme, entitled Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) ultimately wants to find a way to supply net energy by the early 2040s.

During the initial year of the programme, UKAEA recognised that Engineering Planning for the programme should be conducted in earnest and that certain key Systems Engineering (SE) activities would need to be tackled during that period in order to set the programme up for success.

Capabilities Employed

The Challenge

SA Group consultants were engaged to prepare the STEP project for the engineering management planning activities that needed to be conducted in the programme's first year. The main components of this task were to:

  • Work in partnership with the STEP Project Manager to identify the appropriate, high-level Engineering Management and Systems Engineering activities for the initial 12 months of the project.
  • Provide insight into key activities beyond the first year.
  • Produce a first draft STEP Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) to cover the whole of the system life cycle in a structured manner.

The Solution

We conducted an engineering planning workshop at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in which the team of SA Group consultants and members of the UKAEA STEP project team sought to identify, prioritise and define the SE activities needed. A high-level activities document was produced as a result of these discussions.

A comprehensive Systems Engineering Management Plan was created further to in-depth research incorporating relevant sources including early UKAEA STEP papers, the UKAEA's in-house Integrated Delivery Process (IDP) documentation and the ISO 15288 System Life Cycle standard.

The Result

A high-level outline of the first year's engineering management planning activities and the first draft of the Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP) were delivered to the UKAEA STEP Project team. The plan ensures that all deliverables and timelines are achieveable and in line with the ultimate aims of the programme.

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