The UK's innovative Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) facility at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy will receive a £30 million upgrade to achieve near-fusion conditions in a compact device and ensure the successful completion of three tasks central to the progress of the international fusion R&D program. MAST is leading worldwide studies into the spherical tokamak, a compact alternative to the JET-ITER-style magnetic confinement fusion configuration. Spherical tokamak innovations promise to deliver more efficient energy production in fusion reactors. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council — the main funding body for the UK fusion program — has now given approval for the upgrade project, with completion expected in 2015. This follows the recommendations of an independent review of the fusion program for Research Councils UK, published in February 2010, which endorsed MAST Upgrade as part of a long-term funding strategy for UK magnetic confinement fusion research.