- The UK has launched a competition for small modular reactor technology and created a new nuclear body.
- The focus on small nuclear reactors is part of the country’s efforts to produce more zero-emission energy domestically.
- As well as backing SMRs, the UK remains committed to traditional nuclear projects including Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C.
The UK launched on Tuesday a competition for small modular reactor (SMR) technology and created a new nuclear body, Great British Nuclear, in a bid to provide more zero-emission energy from locally-developed sources.
Great British Nuclear (GBN) is expected to drive the rapid expansion of new nuclear power plants in the UK, to boost UK energy security, reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports, create more affordable power, and grow the economy.
The nuclear industry is estimated to generate around $7.9 billion (£6 billion) for the UK economy, the government says.
As of today, companies can register their interest with GBN to participate in a competition to secure funding support to develop their SMR technology, which could result in billions of pounds of public and private sector investment in small modular reactor projects in the UK.
SMRs are considered to be the future of nuclear power technology because they are smaller than conventional reactors and can be manufactured in factories, making nuclear power stations cheaper and faster to build.
In the UK, Rolls-Royce has been developing SMR technology, which, the company says, can deliver cost-competitive and scalable net-zero power for multiple applications – from grid and industrial electricity production to hydrogen and synthetic fuel manufacturing.
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