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STEP is an ambitious programme that will demonstrate the ability to generate net electricity from fusion. It also aims to demonstrate how the powerplant can be maintained through its operational life and produce its own fuel.   

It will develop and implement solutions to fusion’s key challenges, benefiting from the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s breadth of expertise and its suite of world-class research facilities – RACE, Materials Research Facility, H3AT and Fusion Technology Facilities.

The STEP programme will work with a wide range of industrial partners to design and build the prototype powerplant, which will be delivered through a new organisation – UK Industrial Fusion Solutions Ltd (UKIFS).

The development of STEP is broken up into phases, or tranches. The first phase ends in March 2024, by which time the programme will have:

  • Developed a concept design for the integrated prototype plant
  • Selected a site for STEP
  • Established a new delivery body to design and build the plant
STEP building cutaway

STEP’s new home

In October 2022 the West Burton site, a former coal-fired power station in North Nottinghamshire, was announced as the future home of STEP.

Situated on the banks of the River Trent, West Burton was selected by the Secretary of State following an extensive selection process that launched in December 2020 and ran for almost two years.

Our plans for STEP will develop from concept to engineering design in the coming years and will be subject to a full consenting and planning process before construction begins. STEP is likely to be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Programme (NSIP) and, as such will be subject to the requirements of the Development Consent Order (DCO) process.

Procurement opportunities

STEP offers numerous procurement opportunities, set out in the STEP Programme Procurement Plan Schedule (hosted on GOV.UK). This is published every quarter and sets out procurement opportunities as well as details of the responsible procurement officer who can be contacted for more information. Note that tender dates are subject to change.

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