Chapelcross Site Shortlisted For New Prototype Fusion Power Plant

Chapelcross near Annan, Dumfries and Galloway has been shortlisted as one of the potential locations for a new prototype fusion power plant.


UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) have today announced the former nuclear power plant based near Annan has been included as a possible site for a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP).


UKAEA aims to lead the delivery of sustainable fusion energy which has the potential to play a critical role in long-term fight against climate change.  Fusion is the process that powers our sun and stars. It is a low carbon, safe source of vitally limitless clean energy.


STEP is an ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion power plant, targeting 2040. Its aim is to move fusion from research and development to design and delivery.

UK sites which have made the shortlist are:

Site Nominating entity
Dounreay Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP).
East Airdrie Fusion Forward (East Airdrie) Consortium
Poneil Fusion Forward (Poniel) Consortium
Ardeer Fusion Forward (Ardeer) Consortium
Chapelcross South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE)
Moorside Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP), in partnership with Copeland Borough Council.
Bay Fusion (Heysham) Bay Fusion (collaboration between industry, Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster University)
Goole East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC)
West Burton Nottinghamshire County Council
Ratcliffe on Soar Nottinghamshire County Council
Milford Haven Pembrokeshire County Council
Severn Edge


Western Gateway
Aberthaw Vale of Glamorgan Council
Bridgwater Bay Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Bradwell Belport Ltd



South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) worked with partners to submit a nomination for STEP in March 2021.


An assessment process will now begin of all the locations which made the STEP shortlist.

UKAEA will then make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who will make a final decision on the site around the end of 2022.


The STEP programme would then move forward under three phases at the successful site, with an aim for the construction of the prototype plant to be completed around 2040.


Further information on STEP programme and the technology involved is available from https://step.ukaea.uk/.


SOSE Chief Executive Jane Morrison-Ross said:

“STEP could represent a major opportunity for the South of Scotland to lead the world by hosting the first fusion demonstration power station.
“If successful, the prototype could be the basis for creating many billions pounds of economic activity and thousands of high-quality jobs over many decades, as well as potentially delivering long term, sustainable and carbon zero energy.
“We look forward to working with partners and UKAEA in the coming months as part of the STEP process.”


Chapelcross is included in the Borderlands Growth Deal, with the overall aim for the site of developing it into a high quality, green energy-focussed regional employment centre acting as a transformational project within the region.

The Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal was formally signed on 18 March 2021, bringing in up to £452 million of fresh investment to the Borderlands area. Ministers of the UK and Scottish Governments and representatives of the five councils of the Borderlands Partnership signed the Deal at a virtual ceremony.

The Deal is truly distinctive, covering the largest geographical area of any regional growth Deal negotiated with the UK and Scottish Governments and it is the first cross-border deal.

More information is available at www.borderlandsgrowth.com/

Further details on Chapelcross are available at www.cxproject.co.uk/

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