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UK aims to deploy small modular nuclear reactors by 2030

The UK‘s Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is eyeing the deployment potential for small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in the country and has commissioned a study to investigate.

Engineering consultancy Decision Analysis Services (DAS) has been chosen to undertake a six-month project designed to identify what would be needed during the first five years of a development plan.

A previous ETI project looked at the broad issues and timescales required to support a UK-based SMR fleet from 2030, concluding that “there are still many uncertainties” surrounding SMR development but that work will need to start this year.

In last year’s budget statement, the government said à‚£250m ($350m) would be made available to help position the UK as an international leader in SMR technology.

Mike Middleton, the ETI’s nuclear strategy manager, said: “While there have been 10 years of enabling work by industry and government around large-scale reactors, a similar approach to SMRs is only just beginning. [T]his new project will help to identify some of the key activities that need to take place between now and 2020 if a first-of-a-kind SMR plant is to be in operation in the UK by 2030.”

And Peter Cook, managing director of DAS, added that “for SMRs to be operational by 2030, it will require a sense of urgency from all stakeholders ” including operators, vendors, government and regulators”.

Image credit: NuScale Power