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News from the Nuclear Institute

01.05.19

Clean Growth Through Innovation - the need for urgent action

The Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) has produced a report on this topic for BEIS.

The report provides an initial set of findings and recommendations to Government in response to questions it posed NIRAB:

  • To monitor the delivery and impact of the BEIS Nuclear Innovation Programme (NIP) and recommend any amendments that may be necessary in the light of outputs from the programme and developments in the nuclear landscape.
  • To advise where innovation could drive down costs across the whole nuclear life-cycle
  • To identify opportunities for greater collaboration with industry and international partners.

The work to date has yielded some strong recommendations for Government to consider regarding future nuclear energy research and innovation. Foremost is the need for urgent action to accelerate the development and demonstration of technologies that can broaden the role nuclear energy can play in decarbonisation across all energy sectors.  Government has an enabling role to play in facilitating the private sector to bring forward technologies and commercial products.  NIRAB recommend that BEIS implement the remainder of the currently planned £180 million investment in the Nuclear Innovation Programme. The initial phase of this programme is already having a significant impact. In addition, from an initial assessment by NIRAB and NIRO, it is recommended that over the next five year spending review period (from 2021) - to accelerate innovation - Government should consider investing up to £1 billion; made up of in the region of £300 million to continue to develop cutting edge skills, and enable appropriate UK supply chain capability and capacity; plus in the region of £700 million in providing the infrastructure and cost-sharing incentives for industry to develop and construct Advanced Nuclear Technology demonstrators. In return Government should expect significant private sector leveraged investment.

 

The report can be found here on NIRAB's website.