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UK government’s work on Small Modular Nuclear reactors (SMRs) has slowed down

flag-UKSmall Modular Reactors NuClearNewsNo92 February 2017  Scotland Engineering giant Rolls-Royce is teaming up with a host of rivals including Amec Foster Wheeler and Arup and nuclear specialist Nuvia to develop mini-nuclear reactors. Rolls Royce believes the so-called next generation technology could text-SMRssupport as many as 40,000 jobs if the industry flourishes. The consortium is entering a £250m competition started last March by the Government, which wants to find the best SMR design for civil use. It is hoped the technology will be more cost-effective than conventional plants. (1) The companies believe SMRs will strengthen the UK’s energy security by reducing reliance on foreign gas imports and smoothing out the impact of ‘intermittent generation’ technologies.

In November 2015, the British government announced plans to invest at least £250 million over the next five years in a nuclear research and development program including a competition to identify the best value SMR design for the UK. Rolls-Royce submitted a paper to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, outlining its plan to develop a fleet of 7 GWe of SMRs with its partners. Other participants in the UK’s SMR competition include French-owned EDF Energy and its Chinese partner CNNC, Westinghouse and US developer NuScale Power. (2)

In the US NuScale has formally completed its design submission to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The 12,000-page application will now undergo a lengthy review by the NRC, which must approve the design before construction can begin. (3)

According to City AM the Government’s work on SMRs appears to have slowed down, and many companies were expecting mention of plans in the industrial strategy published in January, but there was nothing specific. (4)

  1. Telegraph 8th Jan 2017 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/01/08/rolls-royce-partners-rivals-mininuclear-reactors/
  2. World Nuclear News 9th Jan 2017 http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Rolls-Royce-names-partnersfor-UK-SMR-09011701.html
  3. NPR 13th Jan 2017 http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/13/509673094/miniaturized-nuclearpower-plant-u-s-reviewing-proposed-design
  4. City AM 8th Jan 2017 http://www.cityam.com/256579/rolls-royce-launches-partnership-engineering-giantsamec http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo92.pdf
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February 4, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, technology, UK

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