Site off M62 at Goole shortlisted as potential location for fusion energy plant

A site off the M62 at Goole has been shortlisted alongside four others in the UK to house a prototype fusion energy plant.

Land off Junction 36 at Goole has been earmarked as a potential host for the fusion energy plant

The process involves the fusing of light atoms, hydrogen, and is the opposite of fission, the breaking apart of heavy atoms, like uranium.

It releases energy which is then converted to heat to drive turbines, producing electricity. It is considered an inherently safe technology but produces low-level, short-lived radioactive waste.

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East Riding Council submitted a bid for what is currently agricultural land close to junction 36 with backing from a partnership of northern universities and industry, following a call for sites from the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Ardeer, North Ayrshire; Moorside, Cumbria; Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire and Severn Edge, Gloucestershire have also been shortlisted.

The UKAEA has an initial £222million in Government funds to produce a concept design and choose a site by 2024.

The chosen site will host the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production programme whose aim will be to “demonstrate that electricity can be predictably and stably produced in a fusion power station”.

A council statement said fusion has the potential to provide a "near-limitless source of low carbon energy" by copying the processes that powers the sun and stars where atoms are fused to release energy. It added that it was a "fantastic opportunity for Yorkshire to be at the forefront of the development of a UK-based fusion industry".

The council’s technical advisor, Professor Howard Wilson from the University of York, said a successful bid would place the region “at the international heart of sustainable energy”, as well as creating jobs and driving skills growth.

The bid will be assessed in further detail by the UKAEA and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which will then make their recommendation to the Secretary of State.

A final decision on the site will be made by the Secretary of State towards the end of 2022.