HotSW LEP statement in response to the UKAEA announcement for potential sites for the STEP Fusion Test Reactor

In December 2020, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) called for nominations for a site for their STEP fusion test reactor. This process asked for expressions of interest in the form of nominations of land.

A nomination was submitted by Heart of the South West LEP, developed in partnership with the local authorities, and working with key partners including landowners, skills and training providers, local colleges and universities. We are delighted to have heard that we have satisfied the initial eligibility criteria and now move to the next stage of the process.

The STEP demonstrator provides a huge opportunity for Somerset to capitalise on the county’s prominent position in nuclear and would enable a lasting legacy from the investment made in the Hinkley Point C project. It would build upon the nuclear eco-system that we have created of skills, research and development, supply chain excellence and infrastructure. It would solidify the area as a place to invest in innovation, particularly linked to clean energy and sustainable clean growth, and ensure significant long-term prosperity for Somerset West and Taunton, Sedgemoor and the wider Somerset and South West region.

Whilst the siting exercise is expected to be highly competitive, we believe Somerset offers a strong case with the infrastructure, skills base and project delivery experience developed through Hinkley Point C.

To read the announcement on the gov.uk website, issued today (11 June), read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uks-prototype-fusion-energy-plant-is-one-step-closer-to-finding-a-home

Media enquiries: Please contact: e. communications@heartofswlep.co.uk