A project looking at the deployment of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) in the UK is to be launched.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is currently seeking partners and will invest up to £300,000 in the six-month scheme.
The ETI is a partnership between energy and engineering firms including BP, Caterpillar, EDF, Rolls-Royce, Shell and the UK Government.
SMRs are nuclear power plants which are smaller in size – 300MW or less – than current generation base load plants, which are 1,000MW or higher. They can be transported by truck or rail to a nuclear power site.
The aim is to identify what is needed to take place in the first five years of a development plan for UK SMRs.
Mike Middleton, Strategy Manager for Nuclear at the ETI said: “Due to their smaller size and easier siting SMRs offer more flexibility and as well as generating electricity, they could also deliver low carbon heat into cities via hot water pipelines – but there is still much uncertainty about the schedules for potential deployment in the UK.
“Action needs to be taken now if the option to deploy SMRs as part of the low carbon energy system transition is not to be closed off and this project will help to identify some of the key activities that need to take place between now and 2020 if a first of a kind plant is to be in operation between 2025 and 2030.”