UK seeks industry partners for fusion power plant

By Staff
3 Min Read

The government has initiated a competition to find industry partners for the development of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant.

Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Claire Coutinho, and Minister for Nuclear and Renewables, Andrew Bowie, unveiled the project, stressing the significance of fusion energy in addressing climate change and future energy needs.

Dubbed STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), the project aims to demonstrate net energy from fusion and facilitate the commercialisation of this promising energy source.

The competition, set to start on 22nd May seeks to establish a public-private alliance led by UK Industrial Fusion Solutions Ltd (UKIFS) to deliver the STEP prototype fusion plant.

The prototype will be erected at West Burton, Nottinghamshire, on the premises of a former coal-fired power station, with the objective of achieving net energy from fusion by the 2040s.

UKAEA will provide specialised expertise and resources as one of the three ‘Whole Plant Partners’ to STEP, alongside the successful engineering and construction partners.

Contracts, valued at hundreds of millions of pounds, will be awarded to the chosen partners, focusing on establishing a robust fusion supply chain to ensure the UK maintains leadership in this emerging sector.

Minister for Nuclear and Renewables, Andrew Bowie, said: “Fusion could provide a near limitless source of energy and the UK is leading the way in trying to harness this power and deliver long term energy independence.

“Building STEP is a major opportunity for the sector and will provide investment and jobs in a former industrial area of Nottinghamshire.”

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