Severn Edge site could still be used for new nuclear plant after failed fusion bid.
A site in South Gloucestershire earmarked for a failed nuclear fusion bid could still be used for “other important projects”.
Severn Edge made the final shortlist for a prototype fusion nuclear power plant, but lost out to a site in the Midlands earlier this month.
The Severn Edge site, at Oldbury and nearby Berkeley in Gloucestershire, was described as an “outstanding candidate” by nuclear experts and South Gloucestershire Council bosses also said there were “many other potential opportunities”, after failing to win the STEP fusion bid.
SGC leader Toby Savage said: “It was disappointing that we weren’t successful in that national bidding competition for fusion.
“What we’re optimistic about is that since that competition first started, there are a great many other potential opportunities that have become apparent within that time, as technology and industry have moved on.”
He made the comments during a cabinet meeting on Monday, October 10. Papers to a full council meeting on Wednesday, October 12, also gave further details about how nuclear experts suggested the Severn Edge site could be used for other important projects.
Councillor Savage said: “We have Rolls-Royce as one of our major local employers, who are promoting their SMR [small modular reactor] programme, as well as various other technological innovations from other companies, not just within this country but globally.
“So there are those other opportunities that we need to look very closely at, to make sure that we capture the momentum that has built across the Western Gateway region over the months since its creation and since we’ve been promoting our fusion bid, to ensure that we’re at the forefront of innovation in driving towards net zero.”
Earlier this month, the UK Atomic Energy Authority announced that the fusion bid would go to West Burton in Nottinghamshire.
Council officers from South Gloucestershire are expected to receive a “detailed debrief” from the energy authority about the Severn Edge site.