An existing coal-fired power station has been brought off a reserve list to make it into the final five sites in the running to host what is hoped to be the world’s first commercial fusion power station.
The ambitious project – Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production – known as STEP, is being led by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).
Reacting to today’s government decision that West Burton A, near Retford will now replace Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station on UKAEA’s shortlist of potential sites to host STEP, Nottinghamshire County Council leader Ben Bradley MP said: “While we would have loved to have two local sites on the shortlist, the future of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar site as a whole is still looking very bright.
“It is earmarked as one of the three main sites for attracting investment and growth under ambitious plans led by the East Midlands Development Company. The vision is for it to become a hub for technology, advanced manufacturing and energy.
“So all-in-all this is still a positive result for Nottinghamshire having West Burton A now included in the final five.
“We have a proud heritage of producing energy – especially in the north of the county – 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.”
Councillor Keith Girling, chairman of the county council’s Economic Development and Asset Management Committee, added: “Achieving STEP would be a massive achievement and bring more growth and investment, particularly to the north of the county.
“It would create thousands of new skilled jobs and lucrative opportunities for local suppliers.”
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.