According to the report, published on 2 January, the funding will aim to encourage the growth of alternatives to the Russian fuel supply and increase UK energy security. It will also promote assets in new and robust fuel manufacturing capabilities in the UK, helping the government’s goal of securing up to 24 GW of nuclear power by 2050.
In June, G7 leaders launched a coordinated effort to minimize reliance on Russian civil nuclear and associated items, including efforts to diversify uranium sources and atomic fuel manufacturing capabilities.
According to the UK Government, Russia presently controls around 20% of worldwide uranium conversion capacity and 40% of global enrichment capacity.
Stuart said: “Record high international gas prices, caused by Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, have highlighted the need for more home-grown renewable power, but also UK generated nuclear power – building more plants, and developing domestic fuel capability.”
Preston, strategically crucial for creating fuel for the present UK advanced gas-cooled reactor fleet, has already received up to $15.5m (£13m) of the investment. The money plan is to develop primary conversion capabilities for reprocessed and newly mined uranium.
The budget will allow for considerable investment at the Springfields facility in Lancashire, protecting hundreds of highly skilled jobs in the region.
The account lives used to develop specialist nuclear fuel capabilities in the UK to convert reprocessed uranium, which is presently unavailable outside Russia. Ministers hope that, besides enhancing UK energy security, it could provide export prospects for the sector and select the UK as a significant international provider of nuclear fuel and fuel cycle services.
The government wishes to foster a diversified and robust nuclear fuel market with the remaining money and is hearing proposals for potential investments. It will help initiatives that build new domestic fuel goods, such as fuel supply choices for light water reactors, including future small modular reactors, which might provide a large portion of our current nuclear energy demands.
Additionally, it will strive to fund initiatives that produce novel fuels like high assay low enriched uranium, which is required to provide advanced modular reactors. The procedures for the same would start in the 2030s.
Chief director of the Nuclear Industry Association, Tom Greatrex, said: “Having the sovereign power to manufacture next-generation nuclear powers for advanced reactors of the future is vital for energy security and net-zero.”
The UK Government plans to source 25% of its electricity from nuclear energy plants by 2050 to help the country lessen its reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
On 21 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with nuclear industry leaders to discuss ways to improve the UK’s energy security and expedite the development of nuclear projects in the country.
Although the UK currently generates around 16% of its electricity from nuclear power plants, many facilities are scheduled for closure, even as electricity demand expects to grow steadily in the next ten years.
The Guardian noted that this would necessitate significant assets in new power stations to support the share of nuclear power constant.
Representatives from various companies attended the roundtable discussion, including EDF Energy, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Rolls Royce, NuScale, Nuclear Power Jacobs, and Westinghouse Electric Company.
At the meeting, Johnson summarized the government’s commitment to ‘supporting the initiative to create a thriving channel of future nuclear projects in the UK in a cost-effective way.’
The benefits of scaling up investments and eliminating barriers facing nuclear power developments discuss.
The meeting reaches forward the journal of the government’s energy security strategy later this month. This strategy will involve increasing the UK’s use of renewable energy, nuclear power, and domestic gas.
The UK’s nuclear capacity expects to decrease to 3.6 GW by 2024, with the country’s current nuclear fleet gradually declining over recent years.
The Hunterston B plant in Scotland expects to be retired this year, observed by Hinkley Point B in Somerset.