First nuclear fusion plant to be built in Nottinghamshire

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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West Burton power station site in Nottinghamshire has been selected as the home for the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant.

Construction of the prototype plant could start in the early 2030s and be operational around 2040.
Construction of the prototype plant could start in the early 2030s and be operational around 2040.

The government said that the West Burton coal power station site has been selected as the home for the STEP  – Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production – project.

The prototype fusion energy plant is expected to cost upwards of £2bn and could be operational by 2040.

Fusion is based on the same physical reactions that power the sun and stars, combining two hydrogen atoms to release large amounts of energy.

EDF will close two units at West Burton A power station in March 2023

The UK Atomic Energy Authority will invite tenders in December for construction and engineering partner roles on the prototype fusion energy plant.

This appointed team will then work collaboratively with UKAEA, under joint incentivisation mechanisms.

These partners will be core to delivery of the programme, as well as securing market-leading experience and knowledge.

Atkins and energy transition specialists Assystem are working as Tranche 1 engineering delivery partner to develop the concept design for STEP.

Tranche 1 work will conclude in April 2024 when, subject to approval, the engineering and construction partners will develop a fully-formed major programme to deliver a full plant design, a viable supply chain and seek the consents needed for construction.

The construction partner will be tasked with delivering a site development programme, including innovative building designs focused on cost, schedule, safety and sustainability.

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