Chapelcross site

Chapelcross site shortlisted for new prototype fusion power plant

Chapelcross has been shortlisted as one of the potential locations for a new prototype fusion power plant.

UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) have today announced the former nuclear power plant based near Annan has been included as a possible site for a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP).

UKAEA aims to lead the delivery of sustainable fusion energy which has the potential to play a critical role in long-term fight against climate change.  Fusion is the process that powers our sun and stars. It is a low carbon, safe source of vitally limitless clean energy.

STEP is an ambitious programme to design and build a prototype fusion power plant, targeting 2040. Its aim is to move fusion from research and development to design and delivery.

UK sites which have made the shortlist are:


Nominating entity 


Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP). 

East Airdrie 

Fusion Forward (East Airdrie) Consortium 


Fusion Forward (Poniel) Consortium 


Fusion Forward (Ardeer) Consortium 


South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) 


Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP), in partnership with Copeland Borough Council. 

Bay Fusion (Heysham) 

Bay Fusion (collaboration between industry, Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster University) 


East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) 

West Burton 

Nottinghamshire County Council 

Ratcliffe on Soar 

Nottinghamshire County Council 

Milford Haven 

Pembrokeshire County Council 

Severn Edge


Western Gateway 


Vale of Glamorgan Council 

Bridgwater Bay 

Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership 


Belport Ltd

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) worked with partners to submit a nomination for STEP in March 2021. 

An assessment process will now begin of all the locations which made the STEP shortlist.

UKAEA will then make recommendations to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who will make a final decision on the site around the end of 2022.

The STEP programme would then move forward under three phases at the successful site, with an aim for the construction of the prototype plant to be completed around 2040.

Further information on STEP programme and the technology involved is available from

SOSE Chief Executive Jane Morrison-Ross said:  “STEP could represent a major opportunity for the South of Scotland to lead the world by hosting the first fusion demonstration power station.

“If successful, the prototype could be the basis for creating many billions pounds of economic activity and thousands of high-quality jobs over many decades, as well as potentially delivering long term, sustainable and carbon zero energy.

“We look forward to working with partners and UKAEA in the coming months as part of the STEP process.”