The UK government has selected six small modular reactor (SMR) developers to enter the next round of the competition for contracts.
The shortlisted companies are:
- EDF‘s Nuward SMR is a 340MWe SMR plant with two independent PWRs of 170MWe each.
- GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy‘s BWRX-300 is a 300MWe water-cooled, natural circulation SMR, with passive safety systems adapted from the US-licenced ESBWR.
- Holtec Britain‘s SMR-160 is a 160MWe pressurised water reactor, developed in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric of Japan and Hyundai Engineering and Construction of Korea.
- NuScale Power‘s Voygr SMR plant is based on NuScale’s Power Module, a 77MWe pressurised water reactor and generator, designed to be deployed in clusters of up to 12 per site.
- Rolls Royce SMR is a compact power station design, producing 470MWe from a Gen III+ pressurised water reactor (PWR).
- Westinghouse Electric Company‘s AP300 is a 300MW PWR based on the established AP1000 technology.
Each will be invited to bid for government contracts later this year, with successful companies announced in spring 2024 and contracts awarded in the summer.
The six reactor designs are considered by the government and Great British Nuclear, the government-funded arm’s-length body to drive delivery of new nuclear projects, as the most able to deliver operational SMRs by the mid-2030s.
“Our priority in this process has been to prioritise reliable and sustainable power to the grid early, and that’s why we have focused our first step on the technologies that we viewed as most likely to meet the objective of a final investment decision in 2029,” said Gwen Parry-Jones, CEO of Great British Nuclear. “These companies will now be able to prepare for the next stages of the competition, aiming for a final contract agreement in the summer, potentially benefiting from significant support from the public purse.
“For companies who were not successful in this initial process, the next opportunity could be the government’s consultation on alternative routes to market for nuclear technologies which is due to be launched soon. This will look at how to support newer technologies so that Britain can benefit from them as well.”
- For more background information, see our industry intelligence page on SMR development in the UK.