Wales Nuclear Forum: Industry News, keeping you informed of important updates and informative information in the sector.

Nuclear fusion plan at former Aberthaw Power Station

Council officials are hoping a prototype nuclear fusion reactor could be built at a former power plant.

Aberthaw Power Station, near Barry, was the last coal-fired plant in Wales.

The Vale of Glamorgan council is bidding for the site to be used to house new technology to produce “limitless” energy, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The UK government has set aside £222m to produce a design concept once a site has been identified.

Communities had until the end of March to nominate locations.

The council hopes it could bring jobs to the region and play a role in cutting emissions.

However, the plant would not open until 2040.

What is Fusion?

Fusion – the process going on inside the sun – creates energy by forcing atoms together.

It is the opposite of standard nuclear reactors which rely on fission, breaking atoms apart.

Potentially, it can generate low-carbon power and comes without the danger of explosions.

Critics have said there are still huge hurdles to overcome and some experts believe existing, proven renewable technologies offer a more economical and timely way of tackling climate change.

In December, the UK government asked local authorities to nominate potential sites for designing a prototype commercial reactor, known as Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP), to be connected to the National Grid.

Other sites put forward include Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire.

The UK Atomic Energy Authority will assess the sites before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The successful site could be announced by the end of next year.

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