Government launches search for locations to home prototype fusion energy plant

The Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production project is targeted for completion by 2040 and will be delivered through the UK Atomic Energy Authority

The UK Government has launched a search for a suitable location to house a new prototype fusion energy power plant, which could potentially provide a limitless supply of clean energy to the country.

The UK hopes to become the first country in the world to commercialise fusion energy technology, which replicates the processes that happen inside the sun to generate vast amounts of power.

Local communities across the UK are being asked to step forward with proposals by the end of March 2021 – a suitable candidate will have adequate land conditions, grid connection and water supply, as well as the necessary social, commercial and technical requirements.

Named the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) project, the plant has already secured a £222 million funding commitment from the government and will be delivered through the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Targeted for completion by 2040, it would likely make the UK a hub of fusion science and create thousands of new local highly-skilled jobs across its local region.

Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We want the UK to be a trailblazer in developing fusion energy by capitalising on its incredible potential as a limitless clean energy source that could last for generations to come.

“Communities across the country have an incredible opportunity to secure their place in the history books as the home of STEP, helping the UK to be the first country in the world to commercialise fusion and creating thousands of highly skilled jobs to drive our Green Industrial Revolution.”

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