Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

18 Nov 2020

Government pledges support for advanced nuclear

The UK government has outlined plans to invest £525 million to help develop large and smaller-scale nuclear plants, and research and develop new advanced modular reactors.

Corhyn Parr, Chair NSSG said: 

"The NSSG welcomes the Government’s acknowledgment that both large-scale and small-scale Nuclear Reactors are vital parts of the plan for carbon net zero. It is welcome also to see the recognition of the potential for next generation nuclear technology to create thousands of high value, sustainable job opportunities throughout the UK. The NSSG members will continue to collaborate across industry to ensure that nuclear employers can access and recruit the skills they need to deliver the ambitious plans, and we look forward to further detail in the Energy White Paper."

The announcement is part of a 10-point plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plan aims to mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK, and spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030.

According to the detailed outline of the plan, the nuclear investment includes:

  • Up to £385 million in an Advanced Nuclear Fund, including up to £215 million for small modular reactor development through the UK SMR consortium.
  • Up to £170 million for a R&D programme on advanced modular reactors, with the aim of building a demonstrator by the early 2030s.
  • £40 million to develop the regulatory frameworks and support UK supply chains for new reactor designs.

The Prime Minister’s ten points are:

  1. Offshore wind: Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much we produce to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs.
  2. Hydrogen: Working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
  3. Nuclear: Advancing nuclear as a clean energy source, across large scale nuclear and developing the next generation of small and advanced reactors, which could support 10,000 jobs.
  4. Electric vehicles: Backing our world-leading car manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, and transforming our national infrastructure to better support electric vehicles.
  5. Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future.
  6. Jet Zero and greener maritime: Supporting difficult-to-decarbonise industries to become greener through research projects for zero-emission planes and ships.
  7. Homes and public buildings: Making our homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, whilst creating 50,000 jobs by 2030, and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
  8. Carbon capture: Becoming a world-leader in technology to capture and store harmful emissions away from the atmosphere, with a target to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber today.
  9. Nature: Protecting and restoring our natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year, whilst creating and retaining thousands of jobs.
  10. Innovation and finance: Developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions and make the City of London the global centre of green finance.

More information.