NIRAB Annual Report 2020 issued
Achieving Net Zero: The role of Nuclear Energy in Decarbonisation
NIRAB publishes its work from 2019/20 with a series of recommendations for Government regarding research and development to support implementation of nuclear energy options.
This report provides a summary of the activity of NIRAB since April 2018. It reflects the progress made by NIRAB in formulating advice to Government on the future role of new nuclear energy as a means to achieve net zero by 2050 and in doing so create positive economic impact and jobs. A number of recommendations for action are made.
NIRAB proposes that three streams of nuclear product development and deployment should be progressed to supply the energy needs of the population and support economic prosperity without impacting on climate change or air quality:
- Large scale Light Water Reactors (LWR), which are currently available and suitable for baseload electricity generation;
- Small Modular Reactors (SMR), which are based on the same proven technology and can offer additional flexibility
to meet local energy needs;
- Advanced Modular Reactors (AMR), which typically have a higher temperature output, consequently enabling
them to contribute to decarbonisation through heat and hydrogen production, as well as generate electricity at
NIRAB believes it is time to move forward towards demonstration of both Small Modular Reactor and Advanced Modular Reactor systems with appropriate underpinning R&D programmes to support the decarbonisation of the UK economy. NIRAB makes 6 recommendations to Government to enable this to be achieved.
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The UK Civil Nucler R&D Landscape Survey published
This document presents the results of a survey of the UK civil nuclear R&D landscape in the 2018/19 financial year. It is an update to the landscape review published by Government in 2017. It provides information on the Government policy landscape, funding sources, magnitude, location and focus of research and development being undertaken in the UK and the level of experience of the R&D community currently engaged in civil nuclear research.
The survey results show that:
- Overall it is estimated that there has been an underlying 3% increase in the number of researchers engaged in civil nuclear research in the UK compared to 2015/16.
- The figure for total funding for 2018/19 was around £331million. This represents an increase of around 39% relative to 2015/16. This increase in funding is distributed across public, private and overseas sources.
- Funding for research into advanced nuclear fission technologies remains low; this was also a key conclusion in both the 2017 and 2013 surveys.
NIRAB welcomes BEIS' energy announcements
“On the 22 July 2019 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy released a statement covering a broad portfolio of energy packages that will assist in underpinning the Government approach to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. NIRAB welcomes the suite of packages that have been proposed which closely align with NIRAB recommendations published recently . In particular the commitment to the development of Advanced Nuclear Technology systems, including the development of a UK Small Modular Reactor will create value to the UK. Furthermore, the announcement of a consultation on the Regulator Asset Base model is welcomed and NIRAB would like to encourage any interested parties to respond. Please see  “