Nuclear engineer Andrew Dawson’s report Small Modular Nuclear: Crushed at birth criticises the government for effectively ending the development of small modular reactors in the UK.
Published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Dawson claims that new funding for feasibility studies into a range of new nuclear technologies will “likely to be the end of the SMRs in the UK”.
The report adds: “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.”
SMRs are power plants small enough to be built in factories and delivered to installation sites on the back of a lorry. Building large numbers of identical reactors in this way means that their costs should fall quickly, and they are therefore expected to be a relatively cheap source of carbon-free electricity.
Dawson also slams the government for ignoring “the most credible vendors” including Westinghouse, Rolls-Royce and NuScale.