Nottinghamshire could host world’s first fusion energy plant

Nottinghamshire could become the first site in the world to develop a commercial prototype nuclear fusion energy plant, after being nominated alongside 15 other locations.

New Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Jacob Rees-Mogg made the announcement earlier this week that West Burton A, near Retford, would be chosen for the site.

The Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) project, led by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), would generate power by using heat from nuclear fusion reactions, copying processes that power the sun.

This would be a clean form of energy that is potentially limitless and doesn’t create radioactive waste that is tough to store, but the process has only been carried out in experiments so far.

Cllr Ben Bradley MP, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said the region was ‘proud’ to be chosen: ‘This will bring incredible benefits to the county and wider region, including millions, if not billions worth of investment, putting it at the heart of the government’s plans to revolutionise the way we generate energy in the UK.

‘The site will be the international hub for carbon-neutral, fusion development, attracting the brightest minds locally and from across the world, boosting skills, training, and creating thousands of highly skilled jobs.

‘We are an ambitious county and have a proud heritage of producing energy which helped power the industrial revolution, but now we will be at the heart of the UK green energy revolution too.’

The site would be the first-time fusion energy is commercialised, opening up opportunities for trade once it begins operating in the early 2040s.

However, the energy is difficult to create and could prove to expensive, leading some critics to suggest existing renewable sources of energy should be relied on to combat the climate crisis.

Five sites had previously been shortlisted for the project, including locations in North Ayrshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, and Gloucestershire.

This summer, Nuclear Free Local Authorities and the environmental group Possible have an open letter urging policy makers to bring forward new onshore wind projects and abandon  ‘expensive’, ‘slow’ and ‘risky’ nuclear plans

Photo provided by Nottinghamshire County Council 


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top