The government is set to publish a new report on mini nuclear power plants

Courtney Goldsmith
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British Government Signs A Deal For New Nuclear Power Plant
Mini nuclear reactors can generate electricity at two-thirds the price of recent large-scale nuclear plants (Source: Getty)

The government is expected to publish a report tomorrow with its assessment of nuclear technology designs for so-called mini power plants.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's (Beis) report will tie off a competition between firms working to create small modular reactor (SMR) technologies with an aim to identify the best reactor design.

City A.M. understands the report will not bode well for so-called integral reactors, which have been found to be costly and difficult to manufacture, but it will pave the way for a rival consortium led by Rolls-Royce, which uses a separate technology, to get the green light from Beis.

The consortium, which also includes Amec Foster Wheeler, Arup, Nuvia, Laing O'Rourke and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, has held meetings with Beis as it works to develop an SMR design that can generate electricity at £60 per megawatt hour, which is two-thirds the price of recent large-scale nuclear plants.

The race is on between several countries including the US and China vying to make the first commercial SMR.

A fleet of SMRs is hoped to help the UK meet its energy and climate change targets at a lower cost, while adding billions to the economy.

A Beis spokesperson said: “We are currently considering next steps for the SMR programme and will communicate these in due course.”

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