£3.3 million boost for next generation nuclear technology

  • The government’s nuclear ambitions were backed by a £ 3.3 million grant to support advanced nuclear technology
  • projects across the UK will benefit, helping to support research into the development of a UK Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR)
  • the funding is a further boost for the new national nuclear to protect the UK’s energy independence

Cutting-edge nuclear technology projects across the UK received government support today (Friday 2 September) to help develop the next generation of nuclear reactors. The funding will support early stage innovation for 6 winning projects, helping attract private investment and supporting the creation of new highly skilled green jobs.

This £ 3.3 million grant through research, development and demonstration of the advanced modular reactor (AMR RD&D), will support the development of state-of-the-art nuclear technologies in the UK, such as high-temperature gas reactors (HTGR), helping to revolutionize the way the UK gets its energy.

Government-backed innovative projects include the National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd in Cheshire, which is coordinating a UK-Japan team to design an innovative HTGRand U-Battery Developments Ltd in Slough, for a study to determine the optimal size, type, cost and delivery method for a U-Battery AMR suitable for demonstration in the UK.

The AMR the funding represents another key step in the government’s plans to accelerate domestic nuclear power to bolster the UK’s energy security.

Energy Minister Greg Hands said:

This investment will help unlock the potential for new nuclear reactors in the UK as we continue plans to increase clean local technologies that are at the forefront of our energy security, while reducing long-term utility bills.

£ 2.5 million in funding will go to 6 projects seeking to develop advanced modular reactors (AMR) in the United Kingdom. These reactors use new and innovative fuels, coolants and technologies to generate high-temperature heat for industrial use, as well as electricity.

The AMR RD&D program, part of the £ 385 million Advanced Nuclear Fund, focuses on the development of high-temperature gas reactors (HTGR), with the ambition to become a demonstrator by the early 2030s, as they optimize industrial heat decarbonisation opportunities to support the UK’s goal of reaching net zero by 2050.

AMR the technology could be a cost-effective solution for the decarbonisation industry, typically having outlets at higher temperatures than conventional reactors. Heat at low temperatures and high temperatures from AMR it could be used for hydrogen production, process heat for industrial and domestic use, as well as electricity generation.

In addition, the government is providing up to £ 830,000 to the Nuclear Regulatory Office and the Environment Agency to develop their capabilities and consider innovative regulatory approaches for high-temperature gas reactors (HTGR). This will help support the government’s plans to have a UK office HTGR demonstration in the early 1930s. BEIS will work with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and their broader heritage to explore how to leverage their knowledge, sites and operational experience to inform the development, deployment and operation of the demonstration and to support the policy objectives of the demonstration. BEIS in this area.

Winners announced today

  • U-Battery Developments Ltd in Slough is receiving £ 499,845 for a study to determine the optimal size, type, cost and delivery method for a U-Battery AMR suitable for demonstration in the UK
  • EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd in Gloucester and Hartlepool receives £ 499,737 focusing on end user requirements to determine the most suitable reactor design characteristics for a HTGR event in 2030. EDF proposes Hartlepool Heat Hub as the first host site in the UK HTGR demonstration
  • Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation UK Ltd in St Helens, Merseyside is receiving £ 498,312 for a project that will build on USNC’s existing micro modular reactor (MMR) design as a basis for developing and demonstrating a modification MMR+ design best suited to the UK industry’s current and future process heat demands. This includes a demonstration of hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production
  • The National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd in Cheshire is receiving £ 497,495 for a project coordinating a UK-Japan team (NNLJapanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and Jacobs) to take advantage of a proven HTGR baseline from Japan and take an innovative approach in design, construction, construction and operation
  • Springfields Fuels Ltd in Salwick, Lancashire is receiving £ 243,311 for a project, in partnership with Urenco Limited, to support the range of potential HTGR technologies that could come forward in the UK
  • The National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd in Cheshire is receiving £ 250,000 under Lot 2 Phase A funding for a project that aims to provide a domestic commercial fuel supply starting with the first fuel load for the HTGR demonstration

Notes to editors

The funding for this program was divided into 2 lots:

  • Lot 1 for advanced modular development projects HTGR technologies, with up to £ 500,000 available for each project
  • Lot 2 for Coated Particle Fuel Development Projects (CPF) for HTGR technologies, with up to £ 250,000 available for each project

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