We are today announcing that we are developing proposals to invest government money in the creation of innovative small modular reactors (SMRs) which are less expensive to build than traditional nuclear power plants. As stated to this house on 17 January, we have received a proposal from a consortium of businesses, led by Rolls-Royce, who have proposed a significant joint investment of more than £500m focused on designing a first-of-a-kind SMR. The consortium expects to more than match any Government funding both by direct investment and by raising funds from third party organisations that wish to invest. The government can today confirm that the Consortium’s proposal has been accepted into Wave 3 of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The Challenge is to design a working model that could be operational by the early 2030s. We are looking to make an initial award of up to £18m to the Rolls-Royce-led consortium in early Autumn 2019. This is subject to final decisions to invest, including business case and other approvals, and this consortium representing the best option for pursuing this technology. The Rolls-Royce led consortium believes this new technology could create 40,000 jobs at its peak and each power station could produce enough clean energy to power 750,000 homes. This money is alongside up to £45 million to be invested in the second phase of the Advanced Modular Reactor programme, with project bids currently under consideration. The Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency plan shortly to publish their modernised guidance for developers of SMRs on their Generic Design Assessment, the process through which reactor designs are scrutinised by the regulators prior to further necessary regulatory steps, including site specific assessment and issuing of site licence and environmental permits, to enable subsequent deployment.
Parliament 22nd July 2019 read more »
Government mulls investing £18m to develop UK’s first mini nuclear reactor. The government is proposing to invest up to £18 million to help develop what will be the first mini nuclear power station in the UK. The funding for small and advanced modular reactors will be less expensive to build that traditional nuclear plants – they will be designed so much of the plant can be built in a factor and transported to site for construction. The news comes as a consortium led by Rolls-Royce has proposed a joint investment of more than £500 million on designing a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor (SMR), with a working model expected to be up and running in the early 2030s. The project is expected to create 40,000 jobs at its peak, with each power station producing enough clean energy to power 750,000 homes. The government funding, expected to be awarded in early Autumn 2019, is subject to a final decision to invest.
Energy Live News 23rd July 2019 read more »
A Rolls-Royce-led consortium has secured a government investment commitment to develop small nuclear reactors for commercial use that the company says could boost British exports. Although the initial commitment is just £18m, it will allow the consortium to mature the design of the reactors. The move, which is subject to a final sign-off, would still require significant levels of additional investment before the reactors can become a commercial reality. The UK aero-engine maker has long argued that its technology in this sphere should be regarded as a “national endeavour” to develop nuclear skills that can be used to create an export-led industry. A consortium spokesperson said on Tuesday that the £18m investment would be used to “mature the design, address the considerable manufacturing technology requirements and to progress the regulatory licensing process”. Rolls-Royce and its team, which includes Laing O’Rourke and Arup, was one of several consortiums that bid in an initial government-sponsored competition launched in 2015 to find the most viable technology for a new generation of small nuclear modular reactors (SMRs). Most of these will not be commercial until the 2030s. Rolls-Royce threatened last summer that it would shut down the project if there was no meaningful support from the government.
FT 23rd July 2019 read more »
World Nuclear News 23rd July 2019 read more »
Prospects for SMRs. Report by Nuclear Consulting Group. Joint report by Nuclear Consulting Group and Nuclear Free Local Authorities. By Steve Thomas, Paul Dorfman, Sean Morris & M V Ramana
NCG 23rd July 2019 read more »