The British government this week began the first significant step towards a nuclear fusion power plant by initiating the search for local communities willing to become the home of such a plant, media reports indicate.
The UK is now taking nominations for communities to serve as the host for the inaugural fusion power plant, which would begin with a massive construction undertaking. Communities have four months (until March) to submit their formal nomination documents.
The government’s goal is to have the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) plant reach commercial status by 2040. The government has committed about $300 million to support the early design stages of the project. Britain has plans to set itself up as the central focal point for fusion power in Europe and elsewhere. “We want the UK to be a trailblazer in developing fusion energy by capitalising on its incredible potential as a limitless clean energy source that could last for generations to come,” Business Green quoted Business Secretary Alok Sharma as saying.
Sharma said it would take two years to determine a community to host the project. Various infrastructure needs – roads, power, water supplies – will be primary considerations.
Fusion power has long been the impossible dream among power sources – the promise of clean and, essentially, limitless power. The STEP program “will prove that fusion is not a far-off dream, but a dawning reality with the UK leading the commercial development of fusion power and positioning itself as a pioneer in sustainable fusion energy,” Said Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority chief executive Ian Chapman.
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Seems somewhat behind the MIT Plasma Fusion Center SPARC program that hopes to demo a small fusion tokamok with a Q facror of 10 by 2025 utilizing high temperature superconducting cable allready designed and
in initial production with a power plant producing 100 to 200 MW in a total area the size of a tennis court demoed by 2030. See extensive discussion in the publication "Science" at the end of September.