The University of Sheffield has welcomed a £22m new energy plant for South Yorkshire.
The new scheme is a fusion energy research facility due to open in Rotherham next year. It is said to put the UK in a strong position to “commercialise nuclear fusion as a major source of low-carbon electricity” in the years ahead.
The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) facility will be located at the heart of the UK’s advanced manufacturing region - the Advanced Manufacturing Park - and will bring 40 highly skilled jobs to South Yorkshire area.
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It will be sited at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, whose existing occupiers include Rolls-Royce, McLaren Automotive and both the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and Nuclear AMRC.
The facility will be funded as part of the Government’s Nuclear Sector Deal through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with £2m from Sheffield City Region’s Local Growth Fund.
The key role of the facility will be to develop and test joining technologies for fusion materials and components – for example novel metals and ceramics. These will be evaluated under conditions simulating the inside of a fusion reactor.
Andrew Storer, Chief Executive Officer of the University of Sheffield Nuclear AMRC, said: “We’re delighted to welcome UKAEA to the Advanced Manufacturing Park, and to the Sheffield region’s world-leading cluster of applied innovation.”
He added: “This development has the potential to create many jobs in the local supply chain as fusion technology matures.”
The site will help UK companies win contracts as part of ITER - the key international fusion project being built in France. Looking further ahead, it will enable technology development for the first nuclear fusion power plants, which are already being designed.
Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “This is a hugely significant and transformative announcement for our city, region and the north of England.”