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UK accounting firm found that Small Modular Nuclear Reactors would not be cost-effective

FT 7th Nov 2017, British ministers are preparing to revive the UK’s faltering effort to
create a new generation of small-scale nuclear power plants in spite of an
official analysis that cast doubt on the economic case for the technology.

Talks have intensified in recent weeks between government officials and
companies including Rolls-Royce, the UK engineering group, over potential
public funding to support development of so-called small modular reactors

Greg Clark, business secretary, is keen to put the UK at the
forefront of technology seen as a more affordable alternative to
large-scale nuclear reactors such as those under construction at the £20bn
Hinkley Point C plant in south-west England.

Development of SMRs is regarded as crucial to the future of the nuclear industry as it struggles
to remain competitive against the rapidly falling cost of renewable wind
and solar power. The UK faces competition from the US, Canada and China in
its effort to establish a leading position in the technology.

Support for SMRs is expected to be part of a wider commitment to nuclear engineering in
a new industrial strategy to be unveiled by the government this month.

However, the enthusiasm has been complicated by a technology assessment,
commissioned by the business department and carried out by EY, the
accounting firm, which reached a negative verdict on the cost-effectiveness
of SMRs. The findings are expected to be published in the coming weeks and
will confront the government with awkward questions about why public money
should be used to help commercialise the unproven technology.

November 8, 2017 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, technology, UK

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