The small modular reactor contest looks to be getting underway. Whether the UK wants to be the ‘test bed’ as suggested remains to be seen, but something has to take the place of all the retired power stations. Part-time weather-dependent renewables can’t do that.
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A US energy developer linked to Elon Musk is in talks with the Government to build a fleet of small nuclear reactors across the UK.
The company intends to spend £1.4bn on 10 reactors by the end of the decade.
Last Energy’s end goal is to build “hundreds of plants” across the UK, sources close to the company said.
The proposals are a direct challenge to Rolls-Royce, which is racing to secure approval for its own British-made fleet of mini reactors.
Last Energy is one of 12 select investments by start-up backer Gigafund. Three of these – SpaceX, The Boring Company, and Neuralink – are founded by Mr Musk, 50, the world’s richest person and chief executive of electric car maker Tesla.
Last Energy met with Government aides last week to discuss plans. Its reactors are considerably smaller than those of competitors and are forecast to cost £50m and are prefabricated before being transported by 80 lorries, company insiders claimed.
Each plant is the size of a football pitch and the height of a double-decker bus – roughly half the size of rival reactors proposed by Rolls.
Representatives from Last Energy are believed to have told Whitehall officials that they want the UK to be the company’s “test bed” and insist that its plants will be up and running years before Rolls-Royce.
It is believed to have asked the Government for a commitment to pay £75 per MWh, considerably less than the £92.50 that the UK is locked in to paying the much larger Hinkley Point C nuclear plant once it is up and running.
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop
April 3, 2022, by oldbrew