Site selected for UK’s first commercial nuclear fusion reactor

Is limitless clean energy within reach? Site selected for UK’s first commercial nuclear fusion reactor


The government has chosen Weston Burton A power station in Nottinghamshire as the site for the first prototype for a nuclear fusion power reactor. This will be the UK’s, and potentially the world’s, first commercial prototype, according to the BBC.

While the science behind fusion reactions is still in its early stages, the potential is great. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fusion could generate four times more energy per kilogram of fuel than fission (used in nuclear power plants) and nearly four million times more energy than burning oil or coal.

A UKAEA spokesperson said the plant should be operational by 2040 – ten years before the UK’s net zero goal must be met.

Initially, five locations were being considered for the placement:

  • Ardeer, North Ayrshire
  • Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Moorside, Cumbria
  • Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire
  • Severn Edge, Gloucestershire

Earlier this year the government announced it would cease assessment of Ratcliffe-on-Soar and instead drew upon West Burton, which was originally named as a reserve site.

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg commented on the announcement at a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. He said: “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.”