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Chesterfield could be a world leader in clean energy

December 25, 2020 12:40 PM
Originally published by Chesterfield Liberal Democrats

Councillor Tom Snowdon

At the full council meeting on the 16th December, Lib Dem Councillor Tom Snowdon asked the leader of the council to submit a bid for Chesterfield to host a major new UK government project.

Tom Snowdon says "This is a huge opportunity to create thousands of new jobs in an industry that will help us move forward towards a carbon free future. It would make Chesterfield a major hub for fusion power".

On Wednesday 2nd December the UK government invited UK regions and communities to submit proposals to become the home of a new prototype fusion power plant (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production). This is the UK's ambitious plan to design and build our first Fusion power plant. The government have already committed £222 million to the project.

Tom says "This project should come to a place like Chesterfield, not just go automatically to an existing scientific centre in the South of England. This would be a good payback for Chesterfield, built on the dangerous coal industry of the past, to now become the home of a clean and pollution free energy source of the future."

Fusion power has a huge potential to be a long-term clean energy source that is environmentally friendly, with no carbon emissions. It's inherently safe with abundant and widespread fuel resources, running mostly on hydrogen. This project will create thousands of highly skilled local jobs during the construction and operation of the plant, as well as more jobs in the local supply chain.

Tom Snowdon's question to the council leader was "As a demonstration of our town's commitment to a carbon free energy future, will the leader of the council agree to develop and submit a bid for the prototype fusion reactor to be built within the Borough of Chesterfield?"

Tom said after the meeting "The council leader said she was aware of the project, but she was worried about safety and toxic emissions. The lack of ambition to bring clean energy production to Chesterfield shown by the Council Leader last night was disappointing, as was the lack of scientific understanding. We should all be aware that the fuel for fusion is Hydrogen and the only by-product is Helium, which most people recognise as the gas used to fill balloons. The only danger from party gas Helium is getting a squeaky voice."

Nominations to host the prototype reactor have to be submitted by the end of March next year.