Small nuclear power plants to replace gas in quest for net zero targets

12 Dec, 2022

Ministers are finalising plans to support a generation of new small nuclear reactors as part of a strategy to phase out gas power stations and decarbonise the UK’s electricity supply.

Grant Shapps, the business secretary, is due to announce proposals for a body called Great British Nuclear (GBN) that will drive the government ambitions to triple nuclear generation.

GBN will be responsible for developing a network of between 20 and 30 small modular reactors (SMRs) that are being built by Rolls-Royce. The reactors, which will each provide enough electricity to power a million homes, are significantly cheaper to build than full-scale reactors, and will be on existing or decommissioned nuclear sites.

The plan is to increase Britain’s nuclear generating capacity to 24GW by 2050, tripling what is produced now and accounting for up to 25 per cent of the UK’s projected electricity demand.

GBN is understood to need an initial budget of about £500 million so it can begin preparatory development work both on SMRs and on about four to six large-scale reactors, which experts believe will be necessary to meet the government’s net-zero targets.

Source: The Times


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