The UK Government has allocated £220 million for designing a prototype commercial reactor over the next 20 years, known as a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP). Potential locations include Nottinghamshire and sites across the East Midlands.
Since December, the government has been seeking sites to build the UK’s first prototype commercial nuclear fusion reactor to create a new source of clean energy. Ratcliffe-on-Soar, a coal power station in Nottinghamshire that is due to be decommissioned, is one proposed site for the plant.
Alok Sharma, Business and Energy Secretary at the time, said: “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.”
The Ratcliffe-on-Soar proposition is due to be discussed by authorities on 9th March. If the proposal is accepted, the plant is estimated to be completed by 2040.
One report to the council said the construction of the innovative power plant would “support economic growth, providing the opportunity to attract £1.5bn of inward investment, and the training of highly skilled engineers”.
The report continued, STEP would create “thousands of high-quality, high-tech jobs” and “be an integral part of meeting the global net-zero challenge”.
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