Small Module Nuclear Reactors Could Power the UK by 2030

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Small module nuclear reactors could move from concept to operating reality in the United Kingdom by 2030, a new report indicates.

The analysis, issued by the Energy Technologies Institute, lays out a timeline for development of the technology, but warns that it’s dependent on gaining investor confidence early on.

“Our analysis shows that it is possible to have a first of a kind SMR operating by 2030 if SMR developers, SMR vendors, Government and regulators work together in an integrated program,” said Mike Middleton, the ETI’s Nuclear Strategy Manager and author of the report.

In April 2015, the UK government began gathering information on SMR for policy development. By November, the UK announced a £250 million program for overall nuclear research and development, including SMRs.

The report noted there’s currently no program or policy that would encourage the private sector to develop SMRs, and the ETI wants to help create investment by 2025.

In a statement, ETI said SMRs offer flexibility and the ability to deliver low-carbon heat into cities via hot water pipelines, allowing for buildings to reduce their carbon emissions. They can also be built into factories on site.

The report noted a range of locations are already suitable for potential early deployment of SMRs.

SMR development is also underway in the United States, as the Small Modular Reactor Research and Education Consortium has funded two research projects

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