Experts examine how advanced nuclear technologies will fit into the future energy mix in the UK and beyond
Government, regulators and developers progressed the realisation of advanced nuclear technologies yesterday as part of a continued push to achieve the benefits around the sustainable generation of low carbon electricity.
The Nuclear Institute’s Advanced Nuclear Technologies seminar, hosted by micro-modular reactor developer U-Battery and nuclear fuels company Urenco, was the only UK event this year on advanced and small modular reactors and the fuel cycle they will require.
Held at Urenco’s enrichment site near Chester, it was supported by expert advisor to the nuclear industry Professor Dame Sue Ion; the Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy; the Office for Nuclear Regulation; the Environment Agency and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. It also brought together leading companies which, alongside the hosts, included Westinghouse Electric Company UK, Tokamak Energy, Moltex Energy and Assystem.
The seminar examined the current status of advanced nuclear technologies and analysed how they will fit into the future energy mix in the UK and abroad. The UK Government has demonstrated its continued support for nuclear energy through the Nuclear Sector Deal and Industrial Strategy. Canada is also pursuing these technologies for many of their northern and remote communities which need a clean, cost-effective and safe alternative to diesel.
Steve Threlfall, General Manager at U-Battery, who presented at the seminar, said: “U-Battery and Urenco were delighted to host this event to further the thinking around the development of advanced nuclear technologies and their fuelling. Nuclear energy continues to be recognised for its role in providing affordable, reliable, low carbon electricity. The nuclear industry needs to be ready to embrace new reactor technologies and designs and the fuel sector needs to be ready to supply them. We are preparing ourselves and our assets to do so and look forward to continuing to play our part in addressing the energy and decarbonisation challenges in the UK and across the world.”
The North-West of England and North Wales are key regions for the UK’s nuclear industry and the area sees significant economic benefit from this part of the energy sector.
The UK Government is running the Advanced Modular Reactor programme, with phase one to conclude in early 2019. The programme, which U-Battery is part of, seeks to
determine the feasibility of and support for the design and development of advanced modular reactors.
Last week the Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors was released and U-Battery looks forward to working with the Canadian federal government and the country’s energy sector, community and industry stakeholders to explore the important benefits of these technologies.