An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: 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. 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 220 million pounds for the STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) program, led by the UKAEA.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service said the project would replace the coal-fired power station site — owned by French energy giant EDF — which is set to be closed this year. Matt Sykes, managing director of EDF’s Generation business, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the UKAEA has selected the West Burton site in Nottinghamshire to host the UK’s first fusion reactor. “The area has been associated with energy generation for over 60 years. Developing such an exciting new project continues this tradition and has the potential to transform both the region and the UK’s long-term energy supply.” 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.”