Pioneering fusion project will drive green jobs, skills and investment in Nottinghamshire.
The Nuclear Industry Association has welcomed the announcement made by the Energy Secretary that West Burton in North Nottinghamshire has been selected as the future home for the STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) prototype fusion energy plant.
Driven by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), STEP will be the world’s first, fully integrated, fusion energy plant and paves the way for fusion becoming a commercially viable source of energy, with West Burton, at its heart. This is a hugely important milestone in STEP’s mission to deliver a prototype nuclear fusion plant in the UK.
STEP will bring significant benefits, with skills and employment opportunities and the development of a local and regional supply chain and the creation of long-term, skilled jobs. Companies from within the nuclear and fusion industry, as well as from adjacent industries, will gain from the project, building on the success of the UK’s word-class fusion centre at the UKAEA’s home in Culham in Oxfordshire.
Fusion has the potential to produce large amounts of clean energy and will play an important role in the fight against climate change alongside other green energy technologies like traditional nuclear and renewables. This project is an opportunity for West Burton and the wider region to become a world-leader in fusion research.
Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:
“This is a huge moment for fusion energy in the UK. The STEP project will bring real benefits, including good jobs, opportunities for local companies and an ambition to drive skills and investment in the community.
“As we look to moving away from fossil fuels towards net zero, it is important that we find new ways of meeting our growing energy demands.
“Fusion offers the opportunity to produce virtually limitless energy that will power low-carbon economies across the world. The UK can play a central role in making that a reality.”