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Small-scale nuclear market 'could be worth £400bn'

An American nuclear power company has set out its ambition to bring its minature reactors to the UK as part of a market it says could be worth £400bn by 2035.

Small modular reactor (SMR) developer NuScale Power, which is backed by primary investor Fluor Corporation and says it has the support of the US government, wants to establish its reactors, which are less than 3m in diameter, in this country.

NuScale Power chairman chief executive John Hopkins said: “We see the UK as one of the most attractive places globally to do nuclear business. Britain has the opportunity to grab a share of the future high value global SMR market. 

“Our vision is to see NuScale Power Modules generating low carbon electricity in the UK and providing opportunities in the UK.”

The company said that the benefits of SMRs included being cost effective; competitive with large scale nuclear and other low carbon technologies; being factory fabricated; and scalability, with 50MWe modules able to be added incrementally to reduce initial capital costs.

It said that in the unlikely event of loss of power, one of the reactors could safely shut down and self-cool for an indefinite period with no operator action, no electrical power and no additional water.

The company itself said that it was on track to submit its technology for design certification in the US next year and expected to receive regulatory approval in the early 2020s with deployment for its first customer in Idaho by late 2023.

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