Ministers must back the development of so-called baby nuclear reactors to secure the future of the UK sector, engineers have claimed.
Research and development of Small Modular Reactors could provide the UK with key export opportunities, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said.
IME head of energy Jenifer Baxter said that UK had gone from being the first country to develop a civil nuclear programme to trailing countries like China, France and Canada in development.
“This would not only help to meet future energy demand, but also to develop skills, local employment and build future export business,” Baxter said.
It comes days after a report from parliament’s business, energy and industrial strategy committee warned Brexit uncertainty is leaving the sector facing meltdown.
Baxter admitted quitting the EU would likely be “complicated and difficult”, but added: “It also presents the country with an opportunity to reshape its nuclear industry and once again become a world-leading innovator”.