The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) welcomes the chance to respond to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s ‘Alternative Routes to Market for New Nuclear Projects’ consultation.

The NIA is the trade association and representative body for the civil nuclear industry in the UK. We represent around 280 companies operating across all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.  

Due to the diversity of our membership, our views in this submission will cover high-level, industry-wide matters. Our members may choose to make their own detailed submissions.  

Executive Summary

  • The NIA welcomes the Government’s continued recognition of the importance of nuclear to the energy sector and the opportunity to progress policy and support frameworks for Advanced Nuclear Technologies in the ‘Alternative Routes to Market for New Nuclear Projects’’ consultation.
  • Advanced nuclear technologies, as well as gigawatt-scale nuclear, have a crucial role in getting the UK to net zero, providing energy security and meeting global energy needs in the future.
      • Looking to the future, nuclear is our only source of clean heat proven at scale. We need clean heat from advanced, high-temperature reactors to provide solutions for industries that are currently reliant on fossil fuels to reach the temperatures they need.
      • A quarter of industrial processes across Europe depend on high-temperature heat. This heat could be generated by advanced nuclear technologies, such as Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs) with output temperatures in excess of 700°C.
      • Advanced nuclear technologies are also capable of supplying heat for hydrogen production and replacing fossil fuel-generated heat for industrial processes. The small size, modularity, and flexibility of AMRs and SMRs are a major benefit in deploying these low carbon energy sources.
  • We encourage Government to empower and support the ONR to participate in joint design review activities with other national nuclear regulators. This presents an opportunity to reduce the burden on the ONR should a design previously licensed abroad be submitted for review in the UK.
  • Government should also consider models beyond the CfD and RAB model for AMRs and SMRs, such as the Power Purchase Agreement and the Mankala model. These models may be more appropriate and effective in the application of advanced, high-temperature nuclear reactors for industrial decarbonisation.
  • We would encourage Government to launch the Green Taxonomy consultation as soon as possible. The inclusion of nuclear in the forthcoming Green Taxonomy would help raise capital for new nuclear projects and help bring projects to market.
  • We would encourage Government to continue to engage with industry as well as end users as advanced nuclear technologies approach deployment.

Please click here to view our full response.