Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Report slams government for ‘crushing’ modular nuclear programme


A leading nuclear engineer has slammed the government for “crushing” the UK’s modular nuclear programme.

Nuclear engineer Andrew Dawson’s report Small Modular Nuclear: Crushed at birth criticises the government for effectively ending the development of small modular reactors in the UK.

Published by the Global Warming Policy foundation, Dawson claims that new funding for feasibility studies into a range of new nuclear technologies will “likely to be the end of the SMRs in the UK”.

The report adds: “When George Osborne announced the SMR competition in 2015, it was about identifying SMR technologies that could be deployed in the near-term.

“But in its announcement last week, BEIS made it clear that it would only back ‘blue-skies’ projects, some of which are not SMRs, and none of which have any hope of breaking ground in the next few decades.

“The vendors who might be able to deliver clean energy in the 2020s have been left out in the cold.”

SMRs are power plants small enough to be built in factories and delivered to installation sites on the back of a lorry. Building large numbers of identical reactors in this way means that their costs should fall quickly, and they are therefore expected to be a relatively cheap source of carbon-free electricity.

Dawson also slams the government for ignoring “the most credible vendors” including Westinghouse, Rolls-Royce and NuScale.

The report adds: “It is unlikely that anyone is actually that incompetent, so it looks very much as if Greg Clark has been outwitted by greens in his ministry. Energy security has been sacrificed to Gaia once again.”

Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here.

Readers' comments (2)

  • As an engineer, it is ingrained upon us to take measured and considered decisions in our work that is based on research and guidance that has been conducted by the best scientists, researchers, engineers and academia the world over. This research is almost always independently verified prior to publication. I would probably not apply too much credence to the Global Warming Policy foundation and any publications produced under their banner; headed by the now infamous Nigel Lawson (an outspoken human influenced climate change denier) there is clear and overwhelming consensus that the opinions he and his organisation hold are not backed by the vast majority of scientific community. Put bluntly; he is wrong, and dangerously so.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This is fantastic news. The governments done some thing right for a change. I wish they would crush the other two nukes too, after the first one is running over time and budget, (as to be expected for this form of disgusting energy generation).

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.