UK plans small modular nuclear reactor ‘in 2020s’

Ministers announce £250m funding for nuclear research and development including competition to develop small modular reactors

A general view of the security fence at Heysham Nuclear Power Station on March 17, 2011 in Heysham, United Kingdom

Developers say small nuclear reactors would be cheaper and quicker to build than traditional nuclear plants, and also more flexible.  Photo: Getty Images

The UK could build one of the world’s first small modular nuclear reactors in the 2020s, after ministers announced support for the technology through a £250m research package.

A competition to identify the “best value small modular reactor design for the UK” will be launched in the new year, which will “pave the way towards building one of the world’s first small modular reactors in the UK in the 2020s”, the Treasury said.

Developers say small reactors would be much cheaper and quicker to build than conventional nuclear power plants, with components manufactured in factories and then assembled on site.

The small reactors would have a lower capacity than conventional nuclear plants, such as the proposed Hinkley Point plant in Somerset, but would also be more flexible in their generation.

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Source: Telegraph

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