Pembrokeshire County Council has announced that it’s application for inclusion in the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) programme has resulted in the Milford Haven waterway site being shortlisted for the design and construction of a prototype nuclear fusion power plant.
Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture said: “As I said when we bid, the Haven Waterway has provided livelihoods, underpinned by fossil fuels, for thousands of Pembrokeshire families, mine included, for more than 50 years.
“It’s my job to help ensure the waterway continues to provide high skilled, engineering, science and technology jobs for the next generation of this county. Linked to our focus on climate change – and in addition to our existing multi-million pound commitments to supporting wind, wave and tidal clean power generation – we think Pembrokeshire has a role to play in the UK’s development of clean, green fusion technology.
“Being short listed is very positive news and we’ll be working hard with our Enterprise Zone partners and with UKAEA to persuade them the Haven Waterway is the very best place in the UK to develop this technology.
“The proposed site, which is adjacent to the existing energy sites on the South Shore of the Haven waterway, will have the potential to benefit Pembrokeshire enormously, providing thousands of highly-skilled jobs, attracting investment to our economy and supporting the local supply chain.’
There will be more detailed assessment before UKAEA makes recommendations to the Business Secretary in late summer 2022. The Secretary of State will then make a final decision on the successful site around the end of 2022.
Wales’ Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “I’m very pleased Pembrokeshire’s bid has been shortlisted by the UK Atomic Energy Authority. The Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone location is perfect for this project, so the Welsh Government is working closely with Pembrokeshire County Council and other partners to bring this important project to Wales.
“Tackling climate change is a major global challenge. We all need to play our part in reducing emissions, so we want Wales to be at the forefront of future research and development opportunities for new technologies that allow us to do just that. Alongside the Welsh Government’s ambitious commitments to tackle climate change, the opportunity to host a STEP site would put Wales on the map as a leader in green, clean energy production, creating high quality jobs and opportunities for local supply chains.”
(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)