£2bn fund earmarked for 16 ‘mini’ nuclear power stations

Small modular reactor [credit: ANS Nuclear Cafe]

The aviation industry is on the ropes, so Rolls-Royce needs other work to try and remain profitable, and hopes nuclear can be part of the government’s green splurge.
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Development of mini nuclear power stations could be boosted by a £2bn government investment as the industry fights to stay afloat, says New Civil Engineer.

The aid plan could facilitate the design and construction of 16 sites by 2050, with work undertaken by a Rolls Royce-led consortium.

In January of this year, the consortium first announced plans to build the small modular reactors (SMRs) at former nuclear sites in Cumbria and Wales.

The government provided £18M for this design stage, with the consortium matching the funding. Designs are expected to be finished next spring.

The group also includes Assystem, SNC Lavalin/Atkins, Wood, Arup, Laing O’Rourke, Bam Nuttall, Siemens, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and Nuclear AMRC.

Rolls-Royce claims its smaller reactors can produce affordable energy with a lower carbon footprint than traditional nuclear sites.

According to the Financial Times, the new investment of between £1.5bn and £2bn is under discussion, likely to be announced in the Treasury’s next spending review this year.

The first five sites are expected to cost £2.2bn, while the others will cost around £1.8bn, in comparison to the £22.5bn Hinkley is expected to cost.

Twelve months ago, EDF announced that plans at Hinkley were at risk of delay after the cost rose by £2.9bn.

This comes as plans for large nuclear power stations are stalling.

Full report here.

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October 10, 2020 at 04:09AM

Author: uwe.roland.gross

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