Energy Technologies Institute respond to Nuclear Sector Deal

Posted On: 
29th June 2018

Mike Middleton, Strategy Manager, Nuclear, The Energy Technologies Institute, said:

"We welcome the news of a new sector deal for nuclear, another step in the government's ambition to deliver clean growth as part of its Industrial Strategy. Our view is that nuclear should be part of the mix of technologies that provide the opportunity to decarbonise the UK energy system. Large light water reactors like EDF's Hinkley Point C and Hitachi's planned ABWRs for Wylfa can make a substantial contribution in decarbonising baseload electricity production. The delivery of a potential pipeline of projects will be influenced by a number of factors - not all technical. In addition, Small Modular Reactors using light water technology could fulfil an additional role by delivering combined heat and power helping to decarbonise energy use in buildings.

The UK benefits from an established knowledge base and supply chain in nuclear operations, but nuclear needs to earn its potential position in the mix by proving itself economically against other low carbon options. Nuclear technologies, including advanced reactors in development, will need to offer clear system benefits within a low carbon energy system and such technologies will only be deployed if there is a market need and they are cost competitive. Whilst a future energy system may require some sources of baseload electricity, there will be an increasing role for technologies that can offer heat, power and flexibility. Therefore the nuclear industry has to demonstrate reducing costs as it deploys more UK new nuclear capacity, and these costs need to be competitive within the developing technology mix.

It is good to see the sector deal have such a strong focus on the reduction of costs. We believe this is possible as described in the summary report from our recently completed Nuclear Cost Drivers project. We look forward to working closely with the sector through the implementation phase of this Sector Deal to ensure that the Nuclear Cost Drivers study is fully exploited in the pursuit of cost reductions and that the UK can maximise the benefits of new nuclear power stations."