UK Funds Modular Nuclear R&D Programme
The UK government announced July 10 a £40 ($50)mn scheme to kick-start research and development of modular nuclear power plants. Funding will help to develop technologies to supply low-carbon heat, hydrogen, and other clean energy for decades to come, it said.
The government has announced a series of initiatives to boost the economy and create jobs through a low-carbon industry, while lowering carbon emissions, and is working on a nuclear sector deal. Modular power plants are likely to be built on time and on budget, unlike the multi-gigawatt plants that are being built in the UK today. Carbon capture and storage, associated with production of hydrogen from natural gas, is another area that will benefit from government funding.
Low-carbon industry will support the UK's clean economic recovery and the net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Part of the funding will support three advanced modular reactor (AMR) projects, which are far smaller than traditional nuclear plants and may be used at remote locations, yet still produce enough energy to power "anything from a small village to a medium-sized city."
Three AMR projects in Oxfordshire, Cheshire and Lancashire will receive three quarters of the total. The remaining £10m will be invested into unlocking smaller research, design, and manufacturing projects to create up to 200 jobs.
The minister for business and industry, Nadhim Zahawi, said: "Advanced modular reactors are the next step in nuclear energy and have the potential to be a crucial part of tackling carbon emissions and climate change.... This vital research, the technology could also create thousands more green collar jobs for decades to come."