The government has announced £18M of support for the development of small modular nuclear reactors, which are much smaller and less costly than conventional nuclear reactors to build.
A Rolls Royce led consortium (including Assystem, SNC Lavalin/Atkins, Wood, Arup, Laing O’Rourke, BAM Nuttall, Siemens, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and Nuclear AMRC) are proposing a joint investment into the hundreds of millions to develop a ‘first of a kind’ small modular reactor. This consortium is supported by government investment as well as direct and third-party investment.
The project could help to encourage and develop the UK’s advanced manufacturing base, with major potential for boosting exports and perhaps up to 40,000 jobs being created. The government is also looking at nuclear project bids with £40M available through the Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) programme.
Energy expert view
“We are still reliant on a significant proportion of our electricity generation from an aging fleet of nuclear power plant providing essentially stable electricity provision whilst financing together with the risks associated with development of such complex and costly projects as new large scale nuclear power plant has become problematical, supporting development of both smaller and advanced nuclear based electricity (and perhaps heat) generators should help potentially to lead to a new path for nuclear energy generation and one which could prove very beneficial for the UK’s advanced manufacturing sector.”
Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons