MPs seek views on nuclear research and tech

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into priorities for nuclear research and technologies. It will revisit some of the recommendations of its report published […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into priorities for nuclear research and technologies.

It will revisit some of the recommendations of its report published in 2011 and look into whether the government’s actions in response have improved the country’s nuclear research and development (R&D) capabilities.

The Committee will look specifically at the upcoming decision by BEIS on a small modular reactor (SMR) design, whether the roles and remit of the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) are appropriate and if the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) was successful.

It is inviting views on topics including:

  • Where the responsibility should lie for ensuring the UK has a coherent and consistent long term policy for civil nuclear activities
  • Potential benefits, disadvantages and risks of deploying SMRs
  • Whether the government is doing enough to fund R&D on SMRs
  • How the NNL compares to equivalent organisations in other countries
  • How successful NIRAB was in carrying out its role

Committee Chairman Lord Selborne said: “This inquiry gives the Committee the opportunity to assess who should have responsibility for ensuring the UK has a coherent and consistent long term policy for civil nuclear activities.

“We are keen to hear from people or organisations who can inform the Committee on the role and remit of the National Nuclear Laboratory or offer insight into how SMR’s will benefit the UK and what is needed to support the civil nuclear sector”.

The deadline for written evidence is 24th February.

The UK Government recently asked nuclear regulators to assess a Chinese-designed reactor for a proposed plant in Britain.