Westinghouse, Community Nuclear Power to Deploy Small Modular Reactors in U.K.

Model of Westinghouse's AP300 small modular reactor

(Credit: Westinghouse)

by | Feb 9, 2024

Westinghouse Electric Company has signed an agreement with Community Nuclear Power to deploy four of Westinghouse’s AP300 small modular nuclear reactors for clean energy generation in the United Kingdom.

The installation will reportedly mark the first small modular reactor (SMR) fleet in the U.K. and is expected to begin commercial operations in 2030. Community Nuclear Power is working with Jacobs and Interpath Advisory to develop a fully licensed site for the project in the North Teesside region of Northeast England by 2027.

Westinghouse’s AP300 small modular reactor model was released in May of 2023 with the intention to create a smaller, less costly, advanced version of the company’s AP1000 reactor. The new reactor model is able to produce enough energy to power about 300,000 homes and businesses, or about the same amount of energy capacity as a traditional coal power plant. It may also integrate with renewable energy sources, be used for desalination, and produce hydrogen and e-fuels, according to Westinghouse.

“This project brings together Westinghouse’s proven technology and mature supply chain with our depth of expertise in nuclear program delivery, in a region that is transforming its industrial landscape,” said Paul Foster, CEO of Community Nuclear Power. “We are delighted to be working with Westinghouse in support of private deployment in North Teesside.”

The new project is reportedly in accordance with the U.K.’s recent call for open consultation with nuclear industry players, meant to examine different routes for sector-wide growth. It also supports Westinghouse’s participation in Great British Nuclear’s SMR technology selection process.

SMRs Follow Commitment to Nuclear Power Expansion

Earlier this year, the U.K. government unveiled plans to expand nuclear power generation by up to four times current amounts to help reach the country’s net-zero commitments by 2050. A major element of the U.K.’s nuclear roadmap includes the development of policy to support advanced nuclear reactors, including SMRs. In order to accelerate project development, these plans include streamlining the construction of new power stations and smarter regulation measures.

The U.K. also recently launched a program to develop high-tech, high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), a fuel needed to power advanced nuclear reactors. As a result, the country will not rely on HALEU production from Russia and intends to establish domestic nuclear supply chains.

Advanced SMRs are expected to shape the future of nuclear energy, allowing for nuclear power generation without the creation of large, expensive plants that often experience cost and construction time overruns.

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