Nuclear provides a reliable base-load of power that can underpin and complement a majority renewable grid. Yet, the UK is set to close 5 of its 6 existing nuclear power stations by 2030 and only one, Hinkley Point C, is currently under construction. Britain could build at least two Small Modular Reactors by 2030 if sites are identified and planning barriers are removed.
SMRs built by 2030
Excessive planning bureaucracy is delaying nuclear
To obtain planning permission, Sizewell C’s developers produced a 44,000 page environmental impact assessment and responded to over 2,000 written questions.
SMRs need bespoke regulation
Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are a new form of nuclear power station that can be constructed off-site, then shipped and assembled. Any economies of scale from this process will be lost if SMRs are required to navigate the same planning process as full-scale nuclear power stations.
Former coal and industrial sites could host SMRs
As SMRs are a small fraction of the size of a full-scale nuclear plant, they can potentially be sited at a wider range of locations. Many former coal or industrial sites could be repurposed into SMRs.