A £22 MILLION nuclear fusion research facility at Rotherham’s flagship Advanced Manufacturing Park has been completed ahead of schedule.
The UK Atomic Energy Authority centre (UKAEA) will support national efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The authority has taken a 20-year lease on the 22,300sq ft unit from landowners and regeneration firm Harworth.
It will use the facility to develop and test technologies for fusion materials and components, for example novel metals and ceramics.
These will be evaluated under conditions simulating the inside of a fusion reactor, such as high heat, vacuum and strong magnetic fields.
Duncan Armstrong-Payne, Harworth regional associate director of major projects, said: “Delivering this unit on time and on budget despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the worst of the British weather shows Harworth at its best and we are delighted to formally welcome the UKAEA to the AMP.
“We will support the agency as strongly as we can to make their game-changing technology a reality to support the UK’s net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 target and have no doubt that their presence will attract parts of their supply chain to invest in the AMP and Sheffield City Region’s economy over the next few years.”
The building, pictured above, and constructed by JF Finnegan, comprises office accommodation split over two floors and a research laboratory at ground level. UKAEA will now fit out the unit before moving in before the end of the year.
The centre is expected to attract further investment in the sector and will require regular supplies of specialist metals and materials, providing opportunities for the area’s supply chain.
Damon Johnstone, head of UKAEA Yorkshire, said: “This is another key milestone for the new facility hit on-time and I’m delighted with the quality of what Harworth and its contractors have delivered.
“The modern facility is a fitting base for fusion technology as we ramp up our efforts to enable the delivery of sustainable fusion power.
“Our focus is now on mobilising our operation so we can begin to build our team.”
The new facility is mainly funded as part of the Government’s Nuclear Sector Deal. An additional £2 million came from Sheffield City Region’s Local Growth Fund.