The UK Government should provide subsidies to developers of mini nuclear power stations like it did with the offshore wind industry. That’s the recommendation of the Expert Finance Working Group (EFWG), an independent group convened by BEIS in January to consider what was needed to attract private financing to small reactor projects. Small modular reactors (SMRs) generally have a capacity less than 600MW, with the costs ranging from £100 million to £2.3 billion, which the experts suggest could be delivered by 2030. As ageing and polluting coal plants are set to close in the 2020s, the government is seeking low carbon alternatives to help meet the UK’s emissions reduction targets. The EFWG has recommended the government to help de-risk the small nuclear market to enable the private sector to develop and finance projects – it believes SMRs could be commercially viable propositions both in the UK and for an export market.
Energy Live News 8th Aug 2018 read more »
The government should subsidise the deployment of small modular nuclear reactors in order to speed the transition to a low carbon energy system, according to an independent review into the technology commissioned by Ministers. The Expert Finance Working Group on Small Reactors (EFWG) said in a report this week that government should offer subsidies for small nuclear reactors to help de-risk the technology and kickstart cost reductions.
Business Green 9th Aug 2018 read more »
Panglossian puffery for mini reactors in new report from UK Government advisors that avoids addressing security and nuclear waste problems of small modular reactors. The report says “the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda sets out 17 goals and how they will be implemented to meet the United Nation’s objectives around people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. Nuclear and nuclear isotopes play an important role in nine of the 17 goals including: food security, improved nutrition, water and sanitation, climate change, conserving oceans and ecosystems, medical, energy for all and resilient infrastructure, industrialisation and innovation. The emergence of small nuclear as a commercially viable technology will further contribute to delivering these goals and the UK is well placed to take a leading role in their development both in the UK and across the global energy market.”Even for an atomic aficionado, finding so many positive atomic applications is quite an achievement! One of the SDGs is: “to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.” The report boldly asserts “Small reactors could play an important role in achieving these goals” without spelling out how. I cannot relate this SDG to SMRs, however hard I try.
David Lowry’s Blog 7th Aug 2018 read more »
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) notes the report by the ‘Expert Finance Working Group on Small Modular Reactors’ as another attempt to promote the benefits of this technology despite large and quite possibly insurmountable hurdles to cross. The report was commissioned by the UK Government to consider ways to provide market frameworks for the development of small nuclear reactors to prosper. The Government suggests it is an ‘independent’ group, yet at least half of the group have strong links to the nuclear industry, including the Nuclear Industry Association, the main UK supporter for such technology. Over the past few years, the UK Government has put forward the potential of small nuclear reactors to be a part of a future ‘low carbon’ energy mix. The UK appear to be one of the few governments pursuing such a strategy, as even France and Finland, the only other countries in Europe currently developing large nuclear projects, have no plans to develop such technology. Indeed France has just commissioned a whole raft of new smaller-scale solar energy projects.
NFLA 8th Aug 2018 read more »