The UK government should develop a Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model for financing new nuclear power projects and support the deployment by 2030 of small modular reactors, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has recommended. The recommendations are among the actions the CBI has set out for any future government to help the country achieve its target of net-zero emissions by 2050. Launching the report today, CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn said the government needs to progress the financing for new nuclear. Noting that construction is advancing at Hinkley Point C, she said this must be replicated at other sites. “We believe a Regulated Asset Base approach could be the answer – given its potential to reduce risks and costs for investors as well as deliver better value to consumers and taxpayers.” The RAB model could also enable pension funds to privately finance new nuclear power and drive a significant cost of capital reduction to the benefit of the end-user through reduced prices, the report suggests. The CBI says the government should continue to make the case for including nuclear in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investments, and support its inclusion in the EU Taxonomy framework. SMRs have the potential to be “cost-effective, innovative contributors to the UK’s energy mix”, the CBI says, but the government must “act in a timely way” if the first SMR is to be operational by 2030. It must identify SMR compatible sites as soon as possible and provide the policy certainty required for investment in such generating capacity, and ensure the regulatory process to license SMR sites is replicable to allow for cost reductions for future SMR projects.
World Nuclear News 4th Nov 2019 read more »