- Update to the role for nuclear in UK’s transition to a low carbon economy’ insight summarises the learnings from the ETI’s Nuclear Cost Drivers project and applies these to the ETI’s ESME whole system modelling tool.
- New plants can form a major part of an affordable low carbon transition, with possible roles for large nuclear, Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs).
- Large-scale nuclear reactors are best suited for baseload electricity.
- Development of AMRs and SMRs should be encouraged as they can be valuable for flexible dispatchable heat and power.
The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has published a detailed summary and analysis from its Nuclear Cost Drivers project outlining the opportunities for new nuclear energy in the UK’s transition to a low carbon energy system.
Last week, the UK announced a new target for the UK to achieve net zero by 2050. Reaching this target will require a cost-effective transition to a low carbon energy system. This latest report highlights the role that future nuclear plants can play in the transition. It also shows there has to be a clear focus from all stakeholders on cost if new nuclear is to be commercially successful. The ETI’s Nuclear Cost Drivers project showed this was possible.
‘Update to the role for nuclear in UK’s transition to a low carbon economy’, shows that new nuclear plants are well placed to form a major part of an affordable low carbon transition. Whilst large scale nuclear reactors are best suited for baseload electricity, AMRs and SMRs may be valuable for flexible dispatchable heat and power as high temperature heat could be cost effective for hydrogen production.
A range of innovations in the nuclear heat supply systems are yet to be proven technically and commercially. However, the ETI predicts these innovations could be ready to be deployed in a range of AMRs operating in limited numbers from 2035.
As the UK now commits to Net Zero by 2050, the emphasis must be on delivering a low carbon transition, cost effectively. We believe nuclear energy has an important part to play in reaching this goal.
The next 15 years will be critical in implementing a transition. The findings from our Nuclear Cost Drivers project shows that AMRs contributing to the UK’s heat supply will be intrinsic to cutting the cost of heating our homes.
JONATHAN WILLS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Source: The ETI