Power plant near Gainsborough makes reserve list to house the world's first nuclear fusion power station

A Bassetlaw power plant has made the reserve list to be the potential future home of the world’s first prototype fusion energy plant.
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West Burton A, near Gainsborough, has made the UKAEA’s reserve list after missing out on being on the final five shortlist for locations as part of a national search for potential locations by the Government.

A decision on a location is set to be announced in late 2022 – and the site could be built as soon as 2040, if scientists can find a way to make the technology work.

Fusion produces a source of clean electricity by copying the processes that power the sun.

West Burton Power Station, near Gainsborough, has made the reserve list for the world's first nuclear fusion power plantWest Burton Power Station, near Gainsborough, has made the reserve list for the world's first nuclear fusion power plant
West Burton Power Station, near Gainsborough, has made the reserve list for the world's first nuclear fusion power plant

The ambitious project – Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production – which is known as STEP – is being led by the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Although the Bassetlaw site did not make the final shortlist, it will be brought into the process by the end of this year if any of the five sites fall out of the process.

Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, councillor Simon Greaves, said: “It is very disappointing that West Burton A hasn’t made the actual shortlist, but the fact it is on the reserve list recognises the great potential for the site.

“We will continue to work hard with site owners EDF and our partners at the county council to secure a sustainable long term use for this site, along with the other coal fired power station sites in the district.”

Nottinghamshire County Council coordinated this nomination process for the county working with several partners, including the landowners of these sites as well as Rushcliffe Borough Council and Bassetlaw District Council.

The Ratcliffe-on-Soar site in Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, has also made it onto the shortlist.

Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, councillor Ben Bradley MP, said: “For a Nottinghamshire site to get down to the final five is incredible.

"We are another step closer to this being a reality.

“Achieving STEP would bring massive benefits to the county, putting it at the heart of the government’s plans to revolutionise the way we generate energy in the UK.

“It would build on the existing strengths of our universities and manufacturing sectors, but would also create new skills, training, and thousands of highly skilled jobs, attracting investment and delivering amazing overall benefits to our regional economy including the lucrative opportunities for the local supply chain to help construct the plant.

“While it would have been phenomenal to have two sites in the final five, the benefits will be felt across the whole county, should we be successful.

"It is also encouraging that West Burton A is the only site to be kept on as a reserve, which shows the strength of its bid.

“We are an ambitious county and have a proud heritage of producing energy which helped power the industrial revolution, but looking to the future, we want to be at the heart of the UK green energy revolution

“As global energy demand continues to grow, this technology is expected to play a crucial role in helping to achieve net zero emissions - in a safe and sustainable way - during the second half of this century.”

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