Opinion: UK’s first new reactor could be an SMR. The UK government should re-evaluate its nuclear power strategy and provide more resources to accelerate the development and approval of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) designs so that consumers can benefit from lower costs and the UK’s nuclear renaissance can be cemented. While continuing to back EDF’s 18 billion pound ($25.6 billion) Hinkley point C EPR project, the UK government launched last month phase 1 of its SMR competition to gauge developer and investor interest and plans to publish a roadmap for SMR development later this year. This roadmap must set a clear path towards streamlined Generic Design Assessment (GDA) procedures for SMR plants and provide further clarity on siting, appropriate to the specific safety cases of the new designs. Developers such as NuScale and Westinghouse are already working with UK nuclear firms to prepare a cost–efficient supply chain to support the short build timelines of SMR designs. Investment in UK manufacturing and R&D should create export opportunities.
Nuclear Energy Insider 5th April 2016 read more »