By 2020, Britain’s small nuclear reactors could start generating electricity,media reported. Rolls-Royce, the manufacturer, said on the BBC’s Today programme that it planned to install and operate a plant-based power station by 2029. It is understood that small nuclear power plants can be mass-produced and then trucked, making the cost easier to predict.
But there are also some opponents of the plan, who argue that the UK should abandon nuclear power altogether and focus on cheaper renewable seifrom.
In deed, there is disagreement in the environmental community about nuclear power, with some arguing that it is dangerous and expensive and others that all technology is needed if it is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
However, the industry believes that small reactors can compete at price with low-cost renewable energy.
Rowe is now leading a consortium to build a small modular reactor (SMR) and install it at old nuclear power plants in Cumbria or Wales. Mr Rowro said the company could eventually build 10 to 15 mini-nuclear plants in the UK.
SMR is so small that in theory every town can have its own reactor.
This is a rare positive sign for the nuclear industry, which is struggling with the sharp drop in the cost of renewable energy.
Over the past few years, Japan’s Toshiba and Hitachi have abandoned large-scale nuclear projects because they could not get the funds they needed.
“The key is that we use advanced digital welding methods and robot assembly, then we bring prefabricated parts to the site and then bolt them together,” said Paul Stein, Luo’s chief technology officer. He noted that such an approach would significantly reduce the cost of building nuclear power plants and lower electricity prices.
But Paul Dorfman, of University College London, believes the potential cost advantage of assembly line module construction over site-based custom construction may be overstated. In response, he warned: “Errors on the production line can lead to widespread defects that can spread throughout the reactor and can be costly to repair.” “
“It’s much more economical to build a 1.2GW generator set than to build 12 100MW. “
It is reported that Luo Luo hopes to sell SMR overseas to overcome the cost barriers to achieve economies of scale.