Nuclear technologies are a vital part of the global move to low-carbon power generation.
Unfortunately, the lengthy lead times and financing hurdles involved in the construction of a traditional gigawatt-scale nuclear power station can get in the way of a transition away from more polluting energy options. The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) is working to develop Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) which dramatically reduce both cost and lead times for nuclear new build.
In SMRs, the entire reactor can be produced in factories as large modules are transported to site by a standard heavy goods vehicle for rapid assembly. As part of the UK SMR consortium, led by Rolls-Royce, the Nuclear AMRC is leading research into the use of technologies such as robotic machining, large-scale metrology and digital twinning which will give the UK supply chain a global lead in the SMR market.
This project is set to create £52bn of value for the UK economy, whilst bolstering national supply chains and creating up to 40,000 jobs and delivering a potential route for low-carbon electrical baseload.