The Government looks set to give the green light to “mini” nuclear reactors in the coming months, in what will mark a welcome development after years of delays. Ministers said a policy decision over Britain’s nuclear strategy and development of “small modular reactors” will be made once it has conducted a further round of discussions with industry players. Names such as Rolls-Royce, NuScale, Hitachi and Westinghouse have been in talks with civil servants over the UK’s nuclear strategy for the past few weeks. The Government said it was now evaluating evidence over the commercial case for the reactors, including funding methods and the potential for export. “The greater the certainty vendors can provide on technical and commercial aspects of their designs, the more attractive an investment proposition it becomes and the more likely they will be to attract the necessary private sector investment,” the report said. Policy decisions over the mini nuclear reactors have faced lengthy delays, with the Government first signalling the technology had a role to play in securing energy supply and meeting climate change targets two years ago. Since then, very little progress appeared to have been made and, earlier this year, the House of Lords issued a report criticising the Government’s failure to publish the results of a competition for development funding, calling it “particularly alarming”. In response to this, in the report published on Friday, the Government said it had been holding meetings with the competition participants over the summer to discuss how to help facilitate development and deployment of the reactors. “We expect to be in a position to close the existing SMR competition shortly,” it added.
Telegraph 15th Sept 2017 read more »