The Scottish Government have confirmed that they will take another look at nuclear, after saying that no more nuclear power plants would be built in Scotland under current technologies.

The news comes as Ardeer was placed on a five-location shortlist to house a prototype nuclear fusion plant.

The UK Government announced the final candidates last week (Thursday, October 14).

The Scottish Energy Strategy, published in December 2017, confirmed the Scottish Government's continued opposition to new nuclear stations, under current technologies.

They say they'll assess the Ardeer plans to see if they're compatible with their energy policy moving forward.

A Scottish Government spokesperson, when asked by the Herald, said: “We have noted the outcome of the UKAEA’s STEP competition shortlisting process.

“We know that delivering a net-zero economy by 2045 will require significant growth in renewable and clean electricity production, and work is underway to refresh our Energy Strategy to reflect this transformation.

“This includes a review of the potential contribution all relevant technologies might make towards our future electricity production. We will consult on the refreshed Energy Strategy in the spring.”

The UK Government and Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) are considering the Ardeer peninsula as a potential site for a prototype fusion power station known as STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production).

Fusion creates energy by forcing atoms together whereas standard nuclear reactors rely on fission, the breaking apart of atoms.

Fusion is viewed as safer and cleaner than fission.

The plant should be operational by the early 2040s and could provide thousands of jobs, say the UK Government.

North Ayrshire Council leader Joe Cullinane said of the plans last week when it was announced Ardeer was onthe shortlist: "This represents an exciting possibility for our area to be at the forefront of net carbon neutral innovation."

George Freeman, minister for science, research and innovation, said: "Fusion energy has the potential to be a truly revolutionary and inexhaustible energy source that can help us reduce our dependence on unreliable fossil fuels and tackle climate change.

"By building the foundations to unlock the power of fusion energy, including the location of the UK's first prototype fusion power plant, we are positioning the UK as a global leader in this safe and sustainable power source."

The five shortlisted sites are:


Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire

Moorside, Cumbria

Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Nottinghamshire

Severn Edge, Gloucestershire