£3.3m boost for next generation nuclear technology

  • Government nuclear ambitions backed with £3.3m funding to support advanced nuclear technology
  • projects across the UK will benefit, helping to support research to develop a UK Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR)
  • funding is a new push for new local nuclear power to protect UK energy independence

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

This £3.3 million funding through research, development and demonstration of advanced modular reactors (RAM R+D+i), will support the development of cutting-edge nuclear technology 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 team from the UK and Japan 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 RAM suitable for demonstration in the UK.

the RAM The funding represents another key step in the government’s plans to accelerate local nuclear power to strengthen UK energy security.

Energy Minister Greg Hands said:

This investment will help unlock the potential of new nuclear reactors in the UK, as we drive forward plans to drive clean, cutting-edge, homegrown technologies for our energy security, while also lowering long-term bills.

£2.5m 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.

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the RAM R+D+i The programme, part of the £385m Advanced Nuclear Fund, focuses on the development of high-temperature gas-fired reactors (HTGR), with the ambition to be a demonstrator by the early 2030s as they optimize opportunities to decarbonise industrial heat to support the UK goal of reaching net zero by 2050.

RAM The technology could be a cost-effective solution for the decarbonization industry, which typically has higher temperature outputs than conventional reactors. The low carbon and high temperature heat of AMR it could be used for the production of hydrogen, process heat for industrial and domestic use, as well as for the generation of electricity.

In addition, the government is providing up to £830,000 to the Office of Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency to build their capacity and consider innovative regulatory approaches for high temperature gas reactors (HTGR). This will help support the government’s plans to be based in the UK HTGR demonstration in the early 2030s. BEIS will work with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and its broader heritage to explore how to leverage its knowledge, sites, and operational experience to inform the development, deployment, and operation of the demonstration and to support the goals of BEIS policy 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 RAM suitable for UK demonstration
  • EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Ltd in Gloucester and Hartlepool will receive £499,737 focusing on end user requirements to determine the most suitable reactor design features for a HTGR demonstration in the 2030s. EDF proposes Hartlepool Heat Hub as the host site for the first HTGR demonstration
  • Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation UK Ltd in St Helens, Merseyside, will receive £498,312 for a project that will build on the existing USNC micro-modular reactor (MMR) design as a basis for developing and demonstrating a modified MMR+ design that best suits the current and projected future process heat demands of UK industry. This includes a demonstration of hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production
  • National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd in Cheshire is receiving £497,495 for a project coordinated by a team from the UK and Japan (NNLJapan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and Jacobs) to take advantage of a proven HTGR Japan baseline and adopt an innovative approach in its design, construction, construction and operation
  • Springfields Fuels Ltd in Salwick, Lancashire, will receive £243,311 for a project, in collaboration with Urenco Limited, to support the range of potential HTGR technologies that can be filed in the UK
  • National Nuclear Laboratory Ltd in Cheshire is receiving £250,000 under Lot 2 Phase A funding, for a project that aims to deliver a domestic commercial fuel supply from the first fuel load for the HTGR demonstration
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Notes to editors

The financing of 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 projects developing coated particle fuel (CPF) by HTGR technologies, with up to £250,000 available for each project

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