The government has announced £30M of funding to support three Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) projects. It will speed up the development of three projects in Oxfordshire, Cheshire and Lancashire and drive them closer towards supplying low-carbon energy. The funding is part of a £40M investment for the development of nuclear energy technology. The remaining £10M will be invested into unlocking smaller research, design, and manufacturing projects to create up to 200 jobs. AMR projects are smaller than traditional nuclear plants and use intense heat generated in nuclear reactions to produce low-carbon electricity. They can be used at remote locations due to their size, and can produce enough energy to power anything from a small village to a medium-sized city. They also provide the possibility to diversify the UK’s low-carbon energy mix by producing heat for industry and zero-carbon hydrogen, and have already demonstrated the potential to stimulate private investment. In January, a Rolls-Royce-led consortium said it aims to have mini-nuclear power stations in operation across the UK from 2029. It plans to build small nuclear reactors at former nuclear sites in Cumbria and Wales. Under the plan, between 10 and 15 mini-nuclear power stations could be built across the UK, with each reactor producing 440MWe of electricity.
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Around £30m of the new funding will support the development of three AMR projects: Tokamak Energy in Oxfordshire, which is focused on developing fusion reactors; Westinghouse in Lancashire, which is working to design a lead-cooled fission reactor; and U-Battery in Cheshire, which is seeking to develop a small gas-cooled fission reactor. On top of the AMR projects, a further £10m of funding will support the nuclear industry more broadly, the government announced. Around £5m will be invested in British companies and start-ups developing new ways of manufacturing advanced nuclear parts for modular reactor. Projects awarded support under the scheme include £1.1m for a U-Battery scheme in Cheshire, £1.4m for Rolls Royce submarines in Derby, and £1.3m for Cavendish Nuclear in Sheffield. The remaining £5m will be invested in strengthening the UK’s nuclear regulatory regime, the government said.
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Regional projects that have secured funding so far include: Cheshire – U-Battery, Concept Development and Demonstrator for U-Battery AMR Off-Site Modular Construction in Capenhurst – £1.1m; Jacobs, Evaluation Technologies for Advanced Manufacturing Qualification in Warrington – £181,431. Cumbria – Createc Technologies, MW-CT in Whitehaven – £314,595. Merseyside – Cammell Laird, FAITH in the Wirral – £5.1m.
The Business Desk 13th July 2020 read more »