On 05 and 06 November 2018, CRA consultant Bernat Cirera attended the ‘Commercialisation of Small Nuclear in the UK’ event organised by the UK’s Department for
Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) at the Manufacturing and Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry.
The event was the first ever national conference dedicated to bringing together key voices from across sectors to explore the commercialisation potential of small nuclear reactors in the UK.
The Nuclear Sector Deal announced in the summer signalled a key moment for government and industry via showing shared commitment to the nuclear sector and setting out a new high-level framework to support the development and deployment of small reactors in the UK. Shortly after the release of the Nuclear Sector Deal, the independent Expert Finance Working Group published its report detailing its findings to government about how small modular reactors could be financed.
In the Nuclear Sector Deal, BEIS committed to facilitating an event aimed at bringing together nuclear and non-nuclear industry stakeholders, interested regional stakeholders, vendors, utilities, energy intensive users and the finance sector to promote further dialogue and collaboration, not just in the nuclear sector but in other sectors as well.
Nuclear Energy Minister Richard Harrington announced the intention to open the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process for small and advanced modular reactors in the new year, with registration for expressions of interest opening before the end of 2018. In preparation for this, BEIS and the UK regulators will aim to hold a GDA workshop to engage with stakeholders.
The event opened with a dinner on day one. Day two consisted of a conference and tour of the MTC facilities. The dinner was attended by 100 people, and there were around 200 delegates at the conference. Attendees included: engineers, academics, financial experts and business men and business women.
Commenting on the event, CRA consultant Bernat Cirera remarked: “I must say that of all the events I have attended so far on Small modular reactors (SMRs), this event has been the one where you could feel the most positive energy coming from all the organisations involved: the government, the academia, the vendors and the supply chain. I’m excited to see how matters develop during upcoming months.”