Fusion Yorkshire: Virtual community forum event to take place on Wednesday

Mon, 31 Jan 2022

Residents in East Yorkshire and other local stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on new proposals for the UK's first prototype fusion energy power plant, which may be built in their area. 

A virtual community forum event will take place online on Wednesday, February 2nd 2022 between 6pm and 8pm.

Goole is one of five sites across the UK shortlisted for STEP, or Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production, a UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) programme seeking to pave the way for the development of commercial power plants. It will also showcase how a future fusion power station could be operated and maintained. 

The other sites are Ardeer in North Ayrshire, Moorside in Cumbria, West Burton in Nottinghamshire, and Severn Edge in Gloucestershire.  

UKAEA engineers and scientists involved in the first-of-its-kind project will engage with residents and stakeholders to discuss the benefits of safe, sustainable, low carbon fusion energy, and how the proposed prototype power plant would create thousands of highly skilled jobs and attract other high-tech industries to its host region. 

The chosen STEP site will be selected by the Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The final decision on the successful site is expected around the end of 2022. UKAEA will make recommendations based on a set of criteria, including support from the local community and the potential for socio-economic benefits in that locality.  

Tristram Denton, Head of Commercial and Programme Development for STEP, said: "STEP is not just of strategic importance to UKAEA, but to the national and global efforts to harness fusion technology in the fight against climate change. While it's still early days, we anticipate that the host region will become a global hub for a wide range of technological and scientific expertise, leading to massive economic opportunities. 

"The UK government is committed to net zero by 2050 and fusion is one part of the long-term solution, alongside a continued increase in energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power. The recent COP26 climate conference highlighted the need to push harder and faster, and STEP will take us closer to making fusion a reality." 

Stakeholder and community engagement is one part of STEP's site selection process, enabling UKAEA to raise awareness of the programme in each of the five shortlisted locations and gather initial feedback. 

Each community forum is open to all and will include a presentation on the programme, details on the proposals and an open forum for questions and discussion. This will enable attendees to learn more and provide feedback, which will form an important part of the assessment process as the team develops its final recommendations.  

Residents in East Yorkshire and other local stakeholders can find out more by registering for the individual sessions which will take place via Microsoft Teams on Eventbrite.  

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