- Nuclear APPG report says government should follow other countries’ approach and order enough Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to ensure that as many of the parts are made in Britain as possible
- Building British supply chains and providing opportunities for UK workers requires clear order book to reach 24 GW target
- MPs also call on government to pick partner for new large-scale project at Wylfa
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy, a group of cross-party MPs and Peers, has today published a report saying the Government should plan to maximise the UK content of a 24 gigawatt (GW) new nuclear programme to rebuild the UK’s heavy industrial capabilities.
The report, Made in Britain: The Pathway to a Nuclear Renaissance, argues that Great British Nuclear (GBN) should set contract conditions that require the use of British supply chains, so even foreign SMR designs are effectively made by British industry, helping to “breathe new life” into Britain’s industrial heartlands and creating high-quality jobs.
To capitalise on the opportunity, the report calls on the Government to order multiple units of the SMR technology selected by GBN. This would justify UK companies investing in capabilities such as the fabrication of reactor pressure vessels, which the UK last did 40 years ago.
The report recommends the UK emulate the pathway adopted by other countries, such as France and South Korea, with the latter going from zero nuclear capacity in the 1970s to 24 GW today. To achieve that the country ordered several foreign reactors, standardised the design best suited to them, developed their capability to make critical components, and built multi-unit projects to capture the benefits of replication.
The report also says that if the Government chooses to pursue further GW reactors, then it should back Wylfa in North Wales as the next project during this Parliament, and to start negotiating as soon as possible to determine which reactor technology is best placed to deliver a project at the site: the UK EPR, AP-1000 or APR-1400.
A mix of large and small scale stations would help fill a 15 GW nuclear shortfall after Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and the first SMRs come online. In total, the report makes five recommendations to government outlining how the UK can quadruple its nuclear capacity to 24 GW by 2050, up from 6 GW today:
- Establish a Net Zero duty on the Planning Inspectorate and all relevant regulators; designate nuclear deployment as a Critical National Priority.
- Publish a Nuclear Roadmap this year that outlines a full programme of projects to 2050.
- Commit the funding to GBN necessary to build its developer capabilities and to invest directly in at least the first two SMR projects and next large-scale project.
- Select a partner for the next large-scale nuclear project beyond Sizewell C in this Parliament.
- Award funding and assign sites to SMR Technology Partners by March 2024.
Implementing these recommendations would help create a pipeline of projects necessary for companies to invest in skills and in capabilities which would maximise opportunities for the UK workforce and supply chain.
Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, Bridgwater and West Somerset (Conservative) and Chair of the APPG On Nuclear Energy, said:
“Ramping up nuclear capacity to the levels needed for energy security and net zero will require a monumental effort from government and industry. The steps outlined in this report shows how the UK can deliver on its commitment to nuclear and ensure we don’t fall behind the progress being made by other countries.
“We must seize this opportunity so we can deliver on clean power, energy security and good, green jobs for our country.”
Charlotte Nichols MP, Warrington North (Labour) and Co-Chair of the APPG on Nuclear Energy, said:
“Britain must show it is serious about its nuclear renaissance and by following these steps it can deliver on its ambition.
“The reward is huge: Building 20 GW more nuclear would sustain 250,000 jobs, adding around £20 billion to our new green economy each year, as well as providing a base of energy security for the rest of this century. We must act now to keep up momentum and deliver.”
Read the full report HERE.
About the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear Energy
The APPG on Nuclear Energy provides a forum for MPs and Peers to engage with leading businesses and organisations that are working to enable the UK to meet its decarbonisation targets through the implementation of civil nuclear projects, and to discuss policy options to support these.
The Group was established in July 2015 and is a cross-party group that focuses on raising awareness of and building support for nuclear energy projects that will enable the UK to meet decarbonisation, net zero, and energy security targets.
For further information, please contact:
Jon Woodburn, Public Affairs Executive, Nuclear Industry Association
07803 696 786