Britain will squander the chance to become a leader in next-generation nuclear power unless it presses on with a competition to build mini reactors, said Rolls-Royce, the designer of the nuclear engines that drive the country’s submarine fleet. Britain, which built the first commercial civil nuclear power station, launched a competition in early 2016 to find the best design for so-called Small Modular Reactors, or plants built in factories with parts small enough to be transported. The government said it would respond after the submission process that ended in autumn 2016. When asked for an update on Monday, a business department spokeswoman said it was considering the next steps and would communicate in due course. Rolls-Royce, one of the biggest names to submit a bid, says the competition is crucial for Britain’s nuclear sector because the first country to licence a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) would set an international standard, giving those companies the chance to export their technology worldwide. “Whoever moves first, globally, whoever gets a Small Modular Reactor up and running, licensed, commissioned, built, clearly has first mover advantage globally,” Harry Holt, the president of nuclear at the British company, told Reuters.
New York Times 31st July 2017 read more »
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