Instead of building the £18bn Hinkley Point power plant, the UK should consider investing into the development of small nuclear reactors that could be deployed across the country to balance out intermittent renewable energy generation, energy experts have suggested. The so-called small modular reactors (SMR) are currently being developed by companies including Rolls-Royce and experts believe that within the next decade, the technology could be ready for commercial use. “The real promise of SMRs is their modularisation,” Anurag Gupta, director and global lead for power infrastructure at consultancy KPMG told Reuters. “You can assemble them in a factory with an explicable design, meaning consistent standards and predicable costs and delivery timescale.” The technology’s proponents envision the nuclear units, each capable of producing about a tenth of the energy of large-scale projects such as Hinkley, could be transported from factories on trucks and barges. The experts estimate it would take about six to 12 months to have the unit up and running once it reaches its destination.
Engineering & Technology 23rd Aug 2016 read more »