Six companies chosen for UK nuclear tech contest

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From Tallbloke’s Talkshop

October 2, 2023 by oldbrew

There’s a yawning gap of a decade or so between the end of UK coal-fired power stations in late 2024 and the hoped-for arrival of its potential replacement, new SMR nuclear power.
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Six companies have been selected to advance in the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) competition, reports Energy Live News.

Among the chosen contenders are industry giants like EDF, Rolls Royce and GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy International LLC.

The SMR competition aligns with the government’s strategic plan to revitalise nuclear power.

The government’s ambition is to have up to a quarter of all UK electricity generated from nuclear power by 2050.

What sets SMRs apart from conventional nuclear reactors is their smaller size and factory-based production.

Experts say this technology has the potential to revolutionise power station construction by making it faster and more cost-effective.

The government and Great British Nuclear, a government-backed entity driving nuclear projects, believe that the designs chosen in this phase exhibit the highest capability to deliver operational SMRs by the mid-2030s.

The next stage of the competition will be launched promptly, enabling successful companies to bid for government contracts.

The goal is to announce government-supported companies in Spring 2024, with contracts awarded by Summer 2024.

The government is also investing in large-scale projects like Sizewell C, closely resembling Hinkley Point C, the first nuclear plant constructed in over a generation.

Full report here.