The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Government ‘must find new nuclear sites and speed up reactor approval’


Joseph Flaig

The government must identify new sites for nuclear power stations and help quicken the approval of reactors to help the sector thrive, a report has said.

The IMechE report, Nuclear Power: A Future Pathway for the UK, says the government should hold an independent review of the Generic Design Assessment process, a necessary step for the approval of any reactor in the UK. The review is needed to prevent unnecessary costs and enable the faster approval of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), the IMechE report said.

Other “key actions” include adding nuclear construction skills to the shortage occupation list ahead of Brexit – allowing experienced workers from overseas to enter the UK ­­– and running a new Strategic Siting Assessment to identify further nuclear sites beyond Hinkley Point C’s potential completion in 2025, including locations for SMRs.

“The delays and escalating costs of the Hinkley Point C project have provoked a public backlash in recent years against nuclear power,” said Jenifer Baxter, lead author of the report and head of energy and environment at the IMechE. “Yet as a reliable and relatively low-carbon source of electricity, it makes sense for nuclear to form a greater part of the UK’s future energy mix, reducing our reliance on coal and gas.”

The key challenge to the nuclear sector is reducing costs and delays, she said. An independent review of the assessment process will make it easier to approve SMRs and ensure unnecessary costs are not incurred, she added. “SMRs present a lower-cost option, with comparatively straightforward construction and, potentially, a more attractive investment proposition than conventional larger-scale nuclear plants.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been contacted for comment.

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

UK consults on process for potential new 1GW nuclear sites

The UK Government has launched a consultation on the process and criteria for designating potentially suitable sites for new nuclear post 2025.

They would include new nuclear power stations with more than 1GW of single reactor electricity generating capacity for deployment between 2026 and 2035.

The government’s current nuclear power National Policy Statements (NPS) lists eight sites as potentially suitable for new nuclear plants by the end of 2025 – Hinkley Point C, Wylfa, Sellafield, Sizewell, Bradwell, Oldbury, Hartlepool and Heysham.

It is seeking views on potential new sites from industry, local authorities, regulators and non-departmental public bodies, NGOs and local residents as well as a new NPS.

BEIS said: “The need for the UK to continue its efforts in transitioning to a low carbon electricity market is underlined by the 2015 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement. The government is therefore of the view that new nuclear power is important in making the transition to a low carbon economy.

“Therefore, it is important that there is a strong pipeline of new nuclear power to contribute to the UK’s energy mix and security of supply in the future.”

The consultation will run until 15th March 2018.


December 14, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: