Nuclear fusion plant to be built at West Burton A power station

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Nuclear fusion plant to be built at West Burton A power station

A power station has been chosen to be the site of the UK’s, and potentially the world’s, first prototype commercial nuclear fusion reactor.

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Fusion is a potential source of almost limitless clean energy but is currently only carried out in experiments.

The government had shortlisted five sites but has picked the West Burton A plant in Nottinghamshire.

The plant should be operational by the early 2040s, a UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) spokesman has said.

The government had pledged more than £220m for the STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) programme, led by the UKAEA.

But earlier this year, the government confirmed it would cease assessment of Ratcliffe-on-Soar and restart assessment of West Burton, which was named as a reserve site when the shortlist was announced.

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg announced the government’s choice in a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

« Over the decades we have established ourselves as pioneers in fusion science and as a country our capabilities to surmount these obstacles is unparalleled, and I am delighted to make an announcement of a vital step in that mission, » he said.

« The plant will be the first of its kind, built by 2040 and capable of putting energy on the grid, and in doing so will prove the commercial viability of fusion energy to the world. »

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