An immense day for the Nuclear Industry

December 7, 2017 4:32 pm

Today is a key date for the Nuclear Industry, as two major milestone announcements are made.

The first, comes as the government announce significant support to help exploit the potential for the UK to become a world-leader in developing the next generation of nuclear technologies:

UK to become world-leader in developing next-generation advanced reactor programme

A core objective of the government’s Industrial Strategy is to ensure the UK is developing the technologies of the future and preparing to seize the opportunities they bring, and build on its strengths.

The government has announced today that funding is being made available over the next 3 years to help support research and development into innovative advanced and small modular reactors as well as assess their feasibility and accelerate the development of promising designs.

In addition, the government plans to shortly launch the second phase of its Nuclear Innovation Programme, including up to £8 million for work on modern safety and security methodologies and studies in advanced fuels.

These announcements demonstrate the government’s commitment to the nuclear innovations of the future, which build on the UK’s considerable strength in the sector and its continued partnership working with the sector, including ongoing advanced discussions toward a nuclear sector deal.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “New industry figures show that the UK’s civil nuclear sector contributed £6.4 billion to the UK economy last year. Today’s announcements recognise the importance of industry driving innovation, supported by government, so the sector continues to compete at the very highest level, not just in the UK but globally.

Helping to put the UK at the forefront of future technologies which have the potential to create value and jobs across the whole UK are core objectives of our Industrial Strategy.”

A further £86 million was also announced today for fusion research to set up a national fusion technology platform at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire.

The new investment will reinforce the UK’s world-leading fusion research and development capability, and allow UK firms to compete for up to a further £1 billion of international contracts for fusion technologies, including for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).

Paul Waldeck, Founder and CEO at Waldeck commented: This is an exceptionally exciting time for nuclear, an industry which Waldeck are proud to be a key part of. As shared by Energy Minister, Richard Harrington, the nuclear sector has an important role in increasing productivity and driving clean growth across the country.

Nuclear is a vital part of the UK’s energy blend, and enables a low carbon power solution now and into the future. Today’s news ensures that innovation stays at the forefront of the industry, and with further backing from the government, enables nuclear to take advantage of R&D, innovation and future technologies to delivery efficiencies, target cost reductions, and create a skilled, future-proof workforce to meet our countries energy needs. Something which Waldeck have been collaborating with clients on for some years now.

More from the Government on supporting the development of next-generation nuclear technology >

This news is coupled with Korean utility, Kepco, the world’s fifth-largest nuclear developer, announcing that it wants to close the deal to acquire NuGen early next year:

Kepco to bring significant experience of nuclear new build to the UK

Kepco released a statement this morning and said the business was undertaking due diligence on legal, financial, accounting and technological issues, and reviewing project risks.

This will enable Kepco to take control of NuGen and deliver the new £10 billion nuclear power station in West Cumbria, a project that, on completion, will generate around 7% of the UK’s energy needs.

The announcement, has been hailed a ‘milestone’ to cement the country’s status as a world leader in nuclear.

The statement said: “Kepco is excited about bringing their delivery experience to the UK and build on the important nuclear heritage of the UK. Kepco has been fiercely competing with international rivals and is pleased to reach this significant milestone in the process. Kepco expects to sign a contract for shares acquisition in early 2018 and bring significant experience of nuclear new build to the UK.”

The statement added that meetings had taken place with the UK government and key figures in the nuclear industry in the UK and Korea.

Kepco representatives have travelled to Japan for direct talks with the chief executive of Toshiba, which currently owns NuGen outright.

The statement added: “Kepco is scheduled to continue talks with Toshiba alongside engagement on the pre-feasibility study from the Korean government before closing the transaction in early 2018.”

Paul Waldeck, Founder and CEO at Waldeck shared on the matter: “Waldeck are privileged to be part of the nuclear industry during this renaissance period. Today’s announcements see’s the sector set to accelerate in a way that hasn’t been seen for thirty years. We are honoured to be involved in nuclear new build, advanced reactor and decommissioning projects and look forward to continuing to work with our clients and supply chain.

Acknowledgements: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Share this article?