UK Sites shortlisted for world’s first fusion power plant prototype.
Fusion energy could potentially change the world. It could help sustain low carbon emissions in the future. The new plant will bring with it thousands of jobs and boost the industry in the UK.
Five sites have been shortlisted for the future home of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant – the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production, or “STEP”.
The shortlisted sites are:
Ardeer (North Ayrshire)
Goole (East Riding of Yorkshire)
Severn Edge (South Gloucestershire & Gloucestershire)
According to the government: “STEP is a government-backed programme to build a prototype fusion energy plant in the UK. The STEP plant aims to generate net electricity as well as demonstrating how the plant will be maintained and how it will produce its own fuel.
“STEP will create thousands of highly-skilled jobs during construction and operations and attract other high-tech industries to its host region, furthering the development of science and technology capabilities locally and nationally.”
George Freeman, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation commented: “Fusion energy has the potential to be a truly revolutionary and inexhaustible energy source that can help us reduce our dependence on unreliable fossil fuels and tackle climate change.
“By building the foundations to unlock the power of fusion energy, including the location of the UK’s first prototype fusion power plant, we are positioning the UK as a global leader in this safe and sustainable power source.”
STEP Programme Director at UKAEA, Paul Methven, commented on the shortlisting and said: “The shortlisting of sites is a significant step for the programme as it helps bring this challenging, long-term endeavour to life in the here and now. It also increases our focus as we push on with design and delivery of what we hope is the world’s first fusion power plant prototype.
“Through the next phase of assessment, we look forward to working with the shortlisted sites and local communities to gain a more in-depth understanding of the socio-economic, commercial and technical conditions associated with each site, before we make our final recommendations to the Secretary of State in 2022.”
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