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UK prepared to regulate small modular reactors

Country’s chief nuclear inspector tells Parliament that the time for approval should be no more than with conventional models

Lakeside revival: The disused Trawsfynydd nuclear site on a lake in northern Wales could come alive again as a site for a small modular reactor.

The time it would take to approve and license a small modular reactor in the UK would be no longer than the time it takes with a conventional large reactor, the country’s’ chief nuclear inspector assured Parliament this week. The testimony from Andy Hall, chief nuclear inspector at the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), should allay concerns that the regulator might be ill-prepared to review SMR applications. Regulatory processes in

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Experts to Parliament: Small reactors can boost UK nuclear 

Deploy them in altogether new locations for huge leap in clean affordable energy they say, as House of Commons “SMR” hearings  continue

Industrial Strength: Dr. Fiona Rayment of the UK's National Nuclear Laboratory told a House of Commons select committee that small modular reactors could operate on an industrial user's site and thus reduce reliance on the grid and on fossil fuels.

Industrial electricity users who want to reduce their reliance on the grid and on volatile fossil fuels could install small modular nuclear reactors on their site to ensure a constant electricity supply, an expert has advised a UK Parliamentary committee that is investigating the potential uses for alternative nuclear power in Britain. The novel reactors would thus help significantly increase nuclear electricity’s share of the country’s energy mix said the

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Alternative reactors go to Parliament

Uses include district heating and hydrogen production, experts testify to a UK House of Commons committee

Stein's way: Testifying to a House committee, Rolls-Royce's Paul Stein noted that the nuclear industry does not exactly progress at the pace of “greased lightning.” But it could develop an SMR for Britain within 7 years if it initially sticks with shrunken conventional designs before trying advanced models, he said.

Small, alternative reactors could open up British nuclear power to entirely new uses such as district heating and hydrogen production, and thus buoy the country’s efforts to meet mandatory carbon reduction goals. So testified experts backed by Rolls-Royce, by utilities and even by the fossil fuel industry when asked by a Parliamentary committee about the potential for small modular reactors (SMRs). “We look at the question in the context of

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Nuclear will keep the home fires burning in China

Beijing practices what it preaches as it campaigns to export reactors

Raising the temperature: China's nuclear expansion includes the development of small high temperature reactors that will provide heat for industrial processes. Jiang Mianheng, who is the son of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin, heads a Shanghai high temperature project for the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In recent blogs, we’ve pointed out how nuclear reactor companies are turning to seemingly unlikely geographies for growth. Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America – hardly traditional nuclear markets – look set to help revive the nuclear renaissance that stalled following the meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima plant in March, 2011. We’ve also noted that China and its state-owned reactor companies are among the nuclear purveyors chasing business

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UK government-industry body seeks proposals for alternative nuclear

Public-private investment group including BP, Shell and Rolls-Royce says small reactors could trump large conventional designs and help meet CO2 reduction goals

The future of nuclear? Royal Dutch Shell is part of a British public-private investment group that is seeking proposals for small modular reactors.

A key low carbon public-private British investment group that includes oil and turbine companies BP, Shell, Rolls-Royce and Caterpillar is casting its net into nuclear, seeking proposals for alternative reactors that depart from conventional designs and that could serve as a source of both electricity and heat. The request for proposals (RFP) from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) marks a widening of the group’s interests beyond the renewables and fossil-fuel

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