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UK government expected to fund mini nuclear power stations

04/12/2017
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According to a report in The Guardian, ministers are expected to announce a package of tens of millions of pounds of funding this week to help develop the first generation of small nuclear power stations.

Rolls Royce and a consortium of US and Chinese companies have been lobbying the government for several years to provide support for their plans to create small modular reactor (SMR) based nuclear power stations.
Rolls Royce and a consortium of US and Chinese companies have been lobbying the UK government for support for their plans to create small modular reactor (SMR) based nuclear power stations.
Whilst small modular reactors typically produce only a tenth of the power of conventional large nuclear power stations, they are pitched as being a cheaper and quicker way of producing low-carbon power. Not only can SMRs fit readily into brownfield sites, with lower capital costs, but they have greater simplicity of design and a high level of inherent safety in the event of malfunction when compared to traditional nuclear power plants.

Rolls Royce released a report earlier this year making the case for SMR-based mini power stations. With coal-fired power stations being phased out and electric vehicles expected to place huge demand upon the grid in coming decades, SMRs are being touted as the ideal technology to help the UK’s energy grid meet future demand in a sustainable and low-carbon way.

The report in The Guardian provider further information as to how the government funding is likely to be used:

“The funding is designed to help Rolls and other consortia, including the US companies NuScale and Terrapower and the controversial Chinese firm CNNC, undertake the research and development for a small nuclear power station to be built in the UK. It is not yet clear who will win a share of public funds, or how the pot will be carved up between the 33 participants in the SMR competition.”

“Government officials have repeatedly made it clear that developers will only get financial help if they can prove their SMR will be affordable and competitive with rival energy sources. The earliest an SMR is thought likely to be ready for deployment in the UK is around 2030.”


Could small modular reactors provide the plentiful, low-carbon energy that the UK so desperately needs? Let’s hope the consortium succeeds in making SMRs a feasible reality!

If you’re looking for your next job in the nuclear industry, register for free with Fircroft now and get access to our latest vacancies.
Recent Comments
Deciding to stop fossil power at, obliviously requests returning to nuclear technologies, independent of the brand, using electrical energies for automotive E-Drives. This fact itself is already a challenge, the sense of this step will be answered by the future only. However, Plasma and Nuclear Power is definitely one part of an answer, to satisfy the hugh demand of energy in the near future already. Electricity is not only a kind of energy, it is also mandatory for a healthy civilisation and a request of modern populations. Project like HELIAS/Wendelstein and define small Nuclear Power facilities is a correct way and answer to keep the environment clean and the civilisation. I'll appreciate a trend like this.
Uli Seitz, 15 March 2018
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UK government expected to fund mini nuclear power stations - Time to read 2 min
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