Osborne must face up to UK’s plutonium stockpile, NIA warns
The Nuclear Industry Association has today welcomed the Government’s commitment to the nuclear sector and its additional funding for nuclear research and development, including the development of Small Modular Reactors.
In maintaining the budget for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the NIA believes this approach will deliver value for the taxpayer through a progressive programme of work, rather than by a stop/start approach, which significant cuts to the budget could have resulted in.
However, the organisation has also raised concerns over the lack of funding to develop a reuse option for the UK’s plutonium stockpile.
It believes that now is the time for the Government to put firm plans in place for dealing with this.
The industry, NIA suggests, wants to see a timetable agreed to identify and deliver the preferred technology-led solution, with enough time for a cross-party consensus to be developed.
Keith Parker, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:
“We asked for a review which balanced short-term need with long-term gain.
“Our call for an increase to nuclear R&D to protect the future of the industry, and put UK back as a global leader in nuclear development is warmly welcomed, as is maintaining the essential work to decommission the UK’s nuclear legacy.
“The industry’s focus is on delivering the current large-scale new build projects that are essential to the UK’s energy security and transition to a low carbon economy.
“The funding for Small Modular Reactor research is welcomed and will benefit not just the UK nuclear supply chain, but UK-plc and energy security.”