UK seeks views on HTGR Advanced Reactor Demonstration Plan: New Nuclear

February 17, 2022

Comments are sought on the proposed plan ahead of a formal tender for the advanced modular reactor research, development and demonstration program.

The graphite core of an AGR reactor (Image: EDF Energy)

The UK uses the term Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) for the next generation of nuclear reactors. In December, the government announced that the program’s technology would focus on high-temperature gas-fired reactors (HTGR).

The HTGR is considered a good choice for the United Kingdom, which founded its nuclear power industry with two generations of gas-cooled reactors of national design: the 26 Magnox reactors deployed in the 1960s and 1970s and the 14 advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGR) deployed in the 1970s and 1980s.

According to the overview released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS): “The objective of the program is to demonstrate that HTGRs can produce high temperature heat that could be used for low-carbon hydrogen generation, process heat for industry and domestic use, and power generation at competitive prices, in time for any potential commercial AMR to support Net Zero by 2050.

“Some HTGR designs have been demonstrated, highlighting the early stages of technological feasibility. BEIS wants the industry to demonstrate an HTGR, to be located in the UK, that has innovation at the center of its design, construction and application – with the ambition that this will result in the most cost-effective solution, shaped by end-user needs and delivered in the early 2030s.”

The department is now looking for reviews industry and wider stakeholders on the proposed program structure and timeline. The intention is to launch a formal tender for the first phase of the program by the end of June.

Research and writing by World Nuclear News



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