In its new report, ‘Nuclear for net Zero’, the Energy System Catapult (ESC) claims that ‘nuclear is potentially an important part of the future Net Zero energy system in the UK’, and although it warns that ‘nuclear cost reduction is a necessary pre-requisite’, it seems confident that costs can be cut. It says ‘Nuclear power plant construction projects do not need to be risky or expensive’, one of the key enablers to nuclear cost reduction being ‘the intentional commitment to programmes of capacity rather than individual unconnected projects’. Additionally, it says, Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and advanced Generation IV reactor deployment costs may fall ‘even lower than those potentially achievable with large contemporary reactor designs to be deployed in countries with developed economies where wage rates for construction labour and project related professional services are relatively high’. ESC wants to see a UK ‘commitment to a programme of capacity rather than individual unconnected projects, and the benefits from deployment of multiple units in an uninterrupted construction sequence on the same site’. It says ‘this additional capacity can be expected to potentially commence operations between 2028 and 2035 if suitable projects are committed at the right time,’ subject to continuing assessment. And then more later- maybe up to 50 GW by 2050.
Renew Extra Weekly 5th Sept 2020 read more »