Fund to spur new nuclear projects launched in U.K.

May 20, 2022, 12:00PMNuclear News

The U.K. government is providing £120 million (about $149.9 million) for a new fund designed to support the development of new nuclear energy projects, stimulate competition in the industry, and unlock investment.

The Future Nuclear Enabling Fund, according to a May 13 press release, will provide targeted, competitively allocated government grants to help nuclear construction projects, including small modular reactors, attract private investment. Award funding is expected to start this summer.

Bowen

In addition, Simon Bowen, most recently chief executive for nuclear at Babcock International Group, has been appointed industry advisor to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Bowen will be responsible for setting up Great British Nuclear, a new governmental body.

Both the new fund and Great British Nuclear were first announced in British Energy Security Strategy, a 38-page document released by the U.K. government last month. The strategy calls for approving up to eight new nuclear reactors by 2030 and envisions up to 24 GW from nuclear power by 2050—about three times the current U.K. reactor fleet’s output and representing up to 25 percent of Britain’s projected 2050 electricity demand.

Kwarteng

What they’re saying: “Our new £120 million fund will push forward our plan to deploy a new fleet of nuclear power stations as part of a British nuclear renaissance,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, BEIS secretary. “By encouraging new companies to come forward and build in Britain, we can spur greater competition in the market to cut development costs, so consumers benefit in the long-term. Nuclear is central to our long-term plan bolster the U.K.’s energy security with cheaper, cleaner, homegrown power, while creating thousands of high-skilled jobs across our country.”


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