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UK-headquartered construction and engineering infrastructure company Costain is collaborating with fellow British firm U-Battery to develop an advanced modular reactor (AMR).

The project is being funded by the UK Department of Business as part of its Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Portfolio.

This work forms part of Costain’s climate change strategy and is in support of the government’s £12 billion Ten Point Plan for carbon reduction to develop new nuclear energy solutions to help achieve the UK’s net zero carbon target.

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The scaling up of nuclear power generation has received new and additional funding for investment in these small and advanced reactors.

The initial scope of Costain’s work is a feasibility study to develop and interrogate the modular reactor design to intelligently incorporate philosophies such as Modularisation, Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA).

U-Battery aims to be operational by 2028 and will provide a flexible source of clean, low-carbon, electrical power or process heat (or a combination of both) to serve customers including energy intensive industrial applications and remote communities.

The key part of the U-battery design is its affordability and adaptable configuration. Costain’s initial role is to advise on the engineering design of the modular reactor, off site construction and installation methods that will ultimately mean the reactor can be competitively priced and deployed locally to meet demand.

Tony Davies, new business director for energy at Costain said: “This project is a fantastic example of working together with industry, academia and research to develop a low carbon and reliable energy source.

“Costain has a strong nuclear pedigree and this project is testament to our expertise in modularisation and R&D in this field, including plasma vitrification.”

The current stage of design development is for an initial eighteen (18) months, progressing towards successful acceptance by the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Visit Constain’s website to view more about the project.