Government targets next-gen nuclear with £40mn funding

The government has announced £40mn funding to develop the next generation of nuclear energy technology, adding it could unlock “thousands of green jobs”.

Part of the funding, announced on 10 July, will support three Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) projects, with each being awarded £10mn. These are Tokamak Energy in Oxfordshire, which is working with industry partners and research establishments, including Oxford University, to develop fusion reactors; Westinghouse in Lancashire, which is developing a type of fission reactor – a lead-cooled fast reactor; and U-Battery in Cheshire, which is working on a small high temperature gas-cooled fission reactor.

AMRs are far smaller than traditional nuclear plants and can be used at remote locations, with the government viewing them as the “next step in nuclear energy” and potentially a “crucial part of tackling carbon emissions and climate change”.

The remaining £10mn funding is to go to “turbocharging the industry” with £5mn to be invested in British companies and start-ups, developing new ways of manufacturing advanced nuclear parts for modular reactor projects, both home and abroad, while the remaining £5mn will go to strengthening the UK’s nuclear regulatory regime.