Fusion Reactors

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of leaving Euratom on the (a) cost to the public purse of developing and (b) ability of the UK to develop commercially viable fusion power plants.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

As announced over the weekend, the government has just approved a ground-breaking commitment to fund the first five-year phase of the STEP programme costing £220m. This phase will complete detailed design and development work will allow the UK to maintain its world-leading status in fusion and enable cost estimates for the full programme to be made in detail. This will take into account any cost or programme changes that may or may not need to be made as a result of the U.K. leaving the Euratom treaty. The Government acknowledges the value of international collaboration in this and other scientific fields and is exploring all options for maintaining that collaboration after we leave the EU and Euratom.

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