Press Releases

NIA responds to the independent report from the Expert Finance Working Group on Small Reactors

07 August 2018

The UK Nuclear Industry Association responds to the Market framework for financing small nuclear, which has been published today. The Expert Finance Working Group on Small Reactors was created in December 2017 to advise on how small nuclear reactor projects could raise investment in the UK. The report sets out a number of recommendations on how government, industry and the finance sector can work together.

In response Peter Haslam, Head of Policy, at the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), said:

“This report confirms small reactors have the real potential to be a financially viable addition to the existing nuclear programme. The nuclear industry is central to the government’s Industrial Strategy, and this report builds on the recent announcements for small reactors in the Nuclear Sector Deal.

“Not only could small reactors bring value for money to the consumer, they also have the potential to create a lucrative export market, with a major benefit for British engineering companies and the wider supply chain.

“The report sets out how small reactors can be cost competitive, and we hope the financial sector will recognise this. Small reactors could make a significant contribution to bolstering energy security while tackling climate change, and we hope to see government taking forward the recommendations as soon as possible.”

Fiona Reilly, Chair of the Expert Finance Working Group, said:

“There is a big global market for small reactors as they can be deployed in more and different locations to large reactors. In addition small reactors are able to benefit from being largely factory-built and as a result will have less construction risk; and significantly smaller capital costs. Both these factors should help attract private finance.

“It’s important to note that this is not about a competition between big gigawatt reactors and small reactors, we recognise there is room for both large and small nuclear in the UK’s energy mix. Nuclear is an essential part of the energy mix, if we are to combat climate change, and it plays an important role in delivering HMG’s Clean Growth Strategy providing clean, green, on-demand and baseload low carbon energy.

“We strongly believe government’s role in supporting this commercial deployment shouldn’t be focused on selecting a technology but in providing the market framework to allow the market to bring forward these developments. This framework has the potential to not only enable the establishment of the small nuclear market in the UK but also allow for developing an industry that can be deployed into the global market to help the United Nations meet many of its Sustainable Development Goals.”