SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

03/19/2021 | Press release | Archived content

Atkins awarded two nuclear fusion contracts by UK Atomic Energy Authority

Atkins - a member of SNC-Lavalin Group - has been awarded two collaboration contracts by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) to support its Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) programme - a flagship project to design and build a prototype fusion power plant in the UK.

The STEP Cost Modelling contract, and the STEP Siting and Development contract - both running for three years - position Atkins as an exclusive supplier of services relating to these two contracts, as the UKAEA pushes ahead with plans to have the prototype powerplant operational in the 2040s.

The Cost Modelling contract, being delivered by Atkins' and Faithful+Gould, will develop the cost estimates for the plant and wider programme delivery support.

The Siting and Development contract, delivered by Atkins with supply chain partner Savills, will support UKAEA in assessing potential sites in the UK for the STEP plant and in planning site development.

Lee Patrick, UKAEA Client Manager, Nuclear & Power, at Atkins said: 'Through these partnerships we will play a crucial role in helping realise commercial fusion energy and strengthen the UK's position as a global fusion leader.

'Programmes like this are vital in developing complex, low carbon, commercial fusion technology as we aim to reach Net Zero targets by 2050 and beyond, and lead to fusion's potential as a safe, limitless and environmentally responsible energy source.'

Atkins supports UKAEA across its major programmes through its position as an Engineering Design Services (EDS) framework supplier. Atkins brings extensive experience in large nuclear new build projects, including international fusion science through its role as architect engineer for ITER within the Engage consortium. Successful commercialisation of nuclear fusion will contribute towards clean and sustainable global energy supplies whilst presenting export opportunities to UK companies.


About Atkins

Atkins ( is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing over 18,300 people across the UK, North America, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long-term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins' recent projects here.

About SNC-Lavalin

Founded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is a fully integrated professional services and project management company with offices around the world. SNC-Lavalin connects people, technology and data to help shape and deliver world-leading concepts and projects, while offering comprehensive innovative solutions across the asset lifecycle. Our expertise is wide-ranging - consulting & advisory, intelligent networks & cybersecurity, design & engineering, procurement, project & construction management, operations & maintenance, decommissioning and sustaining capital - and delivered to clients in four strategic sectors: EDPM (engineering, design and project management), Infrastructure, Nuclear and Resources, supported by Capital. People. Drive. Results.

UK Atomic Energy Authority
The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) carries out fusion energy research on behalf of the UK Government at Culham Science Centre near Oxford. UKAEA oversees Britain's fusion programme, headed by the MAST Upgrade (Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak) experiment. It also hosts the world's largest fusion research facility, JET (Joint European Torus), which it operates for European scientists under a contract with the European Commission.

Fusion research at Culham is funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC - and by the European Union under the EURATOM treaty.
More information: Twitter: @UKAEAofficial

What is STEP? 
STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) is an ambitious programme to design and build a fusion energy prototype plant, targeting 2040. It is a UKAEA programme with an initial £222 million funding from the UK Government to produce a concept design by 2024.   

The STEP prototype will be used to test the technology and enable a fleet of commercial plants to follow in the years after 2040.   

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