It was reported last week in The Telegraph that ministers in the UK were “ready” to approve the rapid development and testing of a fleet of “mini nuclear reactors” — to be used as baseload capacity and meant to make up for older soon-to-be-decommissioned nuclear facilities.
Is there any truth to this assertion? What about the assertion that such mini nuclear facilities will provide electricity that’s one-third cheaper than that provide by the nuclear facilities currently in use in the UK?
That sounds a bit “too good to be true” (which means that it probably is), but that is the sales pitch that’s being used.
I haven’t been able to find out too much about what’s going on, as many news outlets haven’t been covering the matter apparently, but it seems that “Rolls-Royce, NuScale, Hitachi, and Westinghouse have held meetings in past weeks with civil servants about Britain’s nuclear strategy and development of ‘small modular reactors’ (SMRs)” in recent days — if The Telegraph is to be believed.
Here’s more from that coverage: “Whitehall sources confirmed that officials from the Department for Business were whittling down proposals from consortia keen to work with government to develop SMRs, with an announcement on the final contenders for funding expected soon.
“The report to be published by Rolls-Royce, entitled ‘UK SMR: A National Endeavour’, which has been seen by The Telegraph, claims SMRs will be able to generate electricity significantly cheaper than conventional nuclear plants.
“The mini reactors are each expected to be able to generate between 200 megawatts and 450 megawatts of power, compared with the 3.2 gigawatts due from Hinkley, meaning more of them will be required to meet the UK’s energy needs.”
The Rolls Royce report claims that its projects would be able to generate electricity at a strike price of £60 per megawatt-hour — a fair bit higher than a number of other electricity generation modalities can offer. Though, I guess that the sales pitch is based on the idea of its use as baseload capacity?
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:
I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...