SMRs are a ‘distraction’ from security of supply. Former energy minister warns nuclear small-modular reactors could distract government from the imperative of replacing outgoing plant. Small-modular reactors (SMRs) risk becoming a “distraction” from what should be the government’s main priority of replacing old coal and nuclear plants in the 2020s, Sir Ed Davey has told Utility Week. SMRs are unlikely to be ready for deployment until the early 2030s, leaving “a serious question mark” over their value to policy makers, the former energy secretary said. “To get this technology off the ground and running and deployed most people I have spoken to, either on or off the record, say we’ll be looking at the early 2030s,” said Davey. “So many things are going to have changed by then there has to be a really serious question mark over whether these things will have any value at all to us given the decisions we’re going to have to take before then.” Davey said he has no issue with the government doing research to gain more evidence but said this shouldn’t be a priority. He said the main focus for research should instead be the storage technologies which will enable greater deployment of intermittent renewable generation. “The advance in storage is massive and its being deployed now,” he added.
Utility Week 9th Feb 2017 read more »
Moves to revolutionise the nuclear power industry are moving forward with successful testing of a safety system. Dorset-based Ultra Electronics is making a system to protect the small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) being developed by leading US company NuScale Power. It is hoped they will make nuclear power easier and more practical to generate, and therefore more widespread. Earlier this month Ultra gave representatives from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission a successful demonstration of its safety hardware, which stabilises or shuts reactors during dangerous situations such as power cuts or overheating.
Daily Mail 9th Feb 2017 read more »