Will Gloucestershire become home to ‘world’s first’ fusion power station?

Gloucestershire County Council seeks the endorsement of a bid to nominate sites for the prototype fusion power reactor

The Big Zero report

Former nuclear energy sites and new build locations in Berkley and Oldbury in Gloucestershire could soon host what is claimed to be the world’s first fusion power plant.

Fusion technology uses the same principles that power the sun, fusing hydrogen isotopes to make helium and limitless ‘carbon-neutral’ energy.

Cabinet members of Gloucestershire County Council will be asked next week to endorse a bid to nominate the location to home the new project.

The chosen site will also include an innovation centre and business park as part of the UK Atomic Energy Authority‘s (UKAEA) STEP programme.

If supported, the initial bid will be submitted to the government by the end of this month, aiming to build the prototype fusion power reactor by 2040.

Councillor Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council said “We will be asking cabinet for formal support to work with Western Gateway, Nuclear South West and a range of partners to put forward an Oldbury and Berkeley submission to the UKAEA call for a fusion prototype power station and a research and development site.

“It is obviously very early in the process and a nomination has not yet been submitted. That said, we believe this could present a real opportunity for the region to lead the way on safe, clean, low carbon energy as well as proving far-reaching economic benefits.”

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