Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has expressed his disappointment that the former nuclear power station at Chapelcross won’t be selected as the home of the UK’s prototype fusion energy plant.

A nomination for the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (or STEP) site had been submitted by local partners in March this year, and been shortlisted by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) as a possible site for a new prototype fusion power plant.

However, the UKAEA confirmed today (14 October) that the site has not made the final shortlist of five, which includes Ardeer in Ayrshire and Moorside in Cumbria.

Commenting on the news South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson Colin Smyth said, “It was always going to be a tough task to secure the plant at Chapelcross given the number of other possible sites across the UK but this snub from the UK Government doesn’t make the decision any less disappointing for the local community”.

“There is a real need to secure a sustainable future for the Chapelcross site that creates high quality, high paid jobs and this was an obvious way of doing so given the history of the site”.

“It is several years since hundreds of jobs were lost at Chapelcross and you can’t hide the fact this has had an impact on the local economy. We do need to start to see all the warm words about the potential of the site start to turn into real action and real jobs soon and this announcement needs to spur both the UK and Scottish Government to start to deliver”.

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