The government has committed £222m to a prototype fusion energy plant.
Austen Shakespeare

Five sites shortlisted for UK's prototype fusion energy plant

Five sites have been shortlisted as the potential future home of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant.

The prospective sites are in North Ayrshire, East Riding, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire.

According to the UK Atomic Energy Authority, the plant will create thousands of highly-skilled jobs during construction and operations.

Upon completion, the authority claims the plant will attract other high-tech industries to its host region, furthering the development of science and technology capabilities locally and nationally.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman MP, said: “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.”

Paul Methven, STEP Programme Director at UKAEA, 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.”

In addition to its initial £222m commitment to the plant, the government has already invested £184m for new fusion facilities, infrastructure and apprenticeships at Culham Science Centre near Oxford and at Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

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