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Modular nuclear reactors are a step closer

Posted on 05 Aug 2017 and read 1554 times
Modular nuclear reactors are a step closerDartford-based engineering and construction specialist Laing O’Rourke has joined a consortium spearheading the development of small nuclear power plants that could provide a much-needed boost to the UK’s energy supplies.

Led by Rolls-Royce and including Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Nuvia and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the consortium is hoping to win UK Government funding for small modular reactors (SMRs). Rolls-Royce has come up with a modular concept that allows for factory manufacture and speedy on-site installation of an SMR that
could power a city the size of Leeds.

A spokesman for the UK SMR programme said: “It will provide a low-cost, low-carbon and ‘local to the UK’ solution to Britain’s energy needs. Our SMRs will be cheaper and more-flexible ‘plug and play’ reactors that can be part of a balanced and economically stable energy mix.

“An all-British solution would mean that we didn’t have to rely on foreign gas imports so much. Crucially, we would be creating genuine skilled British jobs and keeping the IP within our borders.”

The consortium believes that UK SMRs could be a British success story, with a global export market worth an estimated £400 billion. 40,000 skilled British jobs could be created, with the programme forecast to generate a £180 billion-plus windfall for the economy.