A UK Government-commissioned report has found supporters of mini nuclear power stations are asking for billions of pounds worth of taxpayers’ money to fund the construction of their first UK projects. The report was conducted by the Expert Finance Working Group on Small Reactors, a group set up to advise and assist in the setting up of smaller nuclear projects in the UK. In August, the group recommended the UK Government begin establishing infrastructure for such schemes. Small modular reactors (SMRs) are seen by some as the more attractive alternative to expensive and often risky large-scale nuclear plants, allowing nuclear power to compete with the ever-declining costs of solar and wind. Such an argument, however, seems to be undermined by the sum reported in recent government figures. According to the data, some SMR firms are asking for as much as £3.6m for construction costs, while others want up to £480m of consumers’ money to assist designs through the regulatory process, something which nuclear firms usually fund themselves. The group also noted that the firms’ cost estimates varied to such an extent that it noted some companies clearly had a ‘lack of understanding’ of how British nuclear regulation works.
Power Technology 1st Oct 2018 read more »