What is STEP?
STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) is an ambitious programme by UK Government to design and construct a prototype fusion power plant in the United Kingdom by 2040.
For almost 100 years the promise of fusion power as an almost limitless source of energy has been something many have dreamed of - and now we could have the opportunity of realising this dream in the Heysham and Morecambe Bay area.
Over the past two decades the technology needed to make fusion energy a viable power source has advanced at pace and we now have a the opportunity to move fusion from the science lab into the real world. The UK Atomic Energy Authority, part of UK Government, is at the forefront of this pioneering research work and aim to bring into service STEP, which would be the worlds first at-scale fusion power plant demonstrator targeting completion by 2040.
What is Fusion?
Fusion is the process which powers our Sun, and all the stars in the universe. The process occurs under extreme pressures - where two atoms of lighter elements are squashed ("fused") together to form a new atomic nuclei and this releases energy in the process. By harnessing this process, we are able to capture the energy released and use it to generate electricity. The UK is a world leader in fusion science and already holds the world record for the most efficient fusion reaction ever recorded in a fusion experiment - via the JET project located at UKAEA's Culham site.
Fusion power could be used as a major tool in the fight against climate change. Whilst it may not be able to help the immediate climate emergency, this will help solve our future global energy needs in the second half of the 21st century. To be ready for this challenge we need to start work now to make fusion power a reality.
A Home for STEP in Heysham?
The UK Government is currently looking to find a home for STEP and we believe that Heysham is a perfect location.
Bringing STEP to Heysham would make it the central focus for one of the biggest scientific challenges that faces humankind - namely to create significant amounts of zero carbon energy in a low cost and accessible manner. Once completed, the STEP site would become a global hub for fusion expertise and would create thousands of highly skilled local jobs allowing us to continue leading the world in this exciting technology.
The site would consist of the prototype fusion energy plant, alongside a nearby science and technology park, with additional college or training facilities to help create a highly skilled workforce in this exciting technology.
How can we make this happen? Lancaster City Council and Bay Fusion are currently leading a consortium of interested parties to nominate a site in the Heysham area as a potential home for STEP, but we need your support - both local residents, communities and businesses.
Who is Supporting the Heysham Nomination ?
As well as support from local residents, our nomination is endorsed by a number of regional stakeholders and partners who want to ensure our Heysham bid shows the true capability and collaborative opportunity for the region.
How Can I Support the Nomination as a local resident
We need your support for the Heysham and Morecambe Bay nomination to tell UKAEA and UK Government that we want to bring fusion to our local area. Please complete the form below to show your support and hear more about this exciting proposal. We will include statistics (but not personal information) in the bid submission to show levels of local interest in the proposal - every supporter counts!
Even if you disagree with the STEP Heysham nomination, please let us know as all views are important to us.
If you are a business or organisation who would like to support our nomination, including more publicly with a letter of support, please view our industry supporters page where you can sign up.