Who killed the Small Modular Nuclear programme? 

Posted: September 10, 2018 by oldbrew in Critique, Energy, News, Nuclear power, Politics
Tags: ,

Small modular reactor [credit: ANS Nuclear Cafe]

It looks as if the UK government has got cold feet about the small modular reactor concept, possibly under pressure from the ‘green’ lobby. Meanwhile subsidies for unreliable weather-dependent power generation continue, more or less unabated.

London 10 September: An important new briefing paper published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals that the government has kicked a key nuclear programme into the long grass, says the GWPF.

This follows an announcement last week by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on its small modular nuclear (SMR) competition, which outlined new funding for feasibility studies into a range of new nuclear technologies.

The report, by nuclear industry expert Andrew Dawson, shows that while this might appear to represent progress, in reality it is likely to be the end of the SMRs in the UK:

“When George Osborne announced the SMR competition in 2015, it was about identifying SMR technologies that could be deployed in the near-term. But in its announcement last week, BEIS made it clear that it would only back “blue-skies” projects, some of which are not SMRs, and none of which have any hope of breaking ground in the next few decades. The vendors who might be able to deliver clean energy in the 2020s have been left out in the cold”

BEIS has not given any reason for its decision to ignore the most credible vendors – Westinghouse, Rolls-Royce and NuScale – who might have been able to bring power stations on line in less than ten years, but Dawson is clear that Osborne’s original plan has been betrayed:

“It is unlikely that anyone is actually that incompetent, so it looks very much as if Greg Clark has been outwitted by greens in his ministry. Energy security has been sacrificed to Gaia once again.”

Continued here.

  1. stpaulchuck says:

    I’ve been a fan of the small nukes for years. It would obviate building ugly massive main lines out to rural towns. The Japanese have done a bunch of research on them and have them in cargo container size that would handle a 20,000 or so farm community with a 20 year refuel cycle. What’s not to like?

  2. ivan says:

    The problem in the UK is the aftermath of the old bags picketing Greenham Common and the anti nuclear thinking that pervades a lot of the plebs thinking still today.

    The question that should be asked is, how many of these modular units could be bought for the cost of the EDF plant? I suspect that the government could get a larger output in MW for less money but the subsidy on unreliables needs to be kept up to keep the MP directors of the subsidy farms happy.

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