Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons on 15th December 2020.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

What recent progress he has made on the (a) development and (b) introduction of small modular nuclear reactors.

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

My hon. Friend will know that small modular reactor technology is very much at the centre of what the Prime Minister outlined in the 10-point plan; in fact, the nuclear segment of that plan was the third item on the agenda and is extremely important. SMRs will certainly play a part in our nuclear future.

Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

As my right hon. Friend the Minister rightly says, small modular nuclear reactors can be developed quickly and provide green energy at very low costs. They can also be located at a range of sites throughout the UK to enable easy connection to the national grid. Will my right hon. Friend bring forward proposals to accelerate the roll-out of this exciting new opportunity to provide clean energy and create more employment in the UK, putting us ahead of the rest of the world?

Photo of Kwasi Kwarteng Kwasi Kwarteng The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that SMRs represent a huge opportunity for precisely the reasons he gives: they are flexible and one can operate them in lots of geographical areas. Next year, we will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the siting requirements for SMRs and advanced modular reactors so that we can develop this exciting technology.