UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory hits net zero: Energy and environment


June 08, 2021

NNL, the UK’s national nuclear fission laboratory, today launched its new strategic plan: It’s NNL. With legally binding targets in the UK to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and more than 120 other countries moving towards the same target, it is “impossible to overestimate the magnitude of the challenge ahead. come, ”NNL said.

NNL will focus on four strategic areas of national importance:

  • Clean Energy – “A thriving nuclear energy sector is a vital part of the UK’s path to net zero”;
  • Restoring the environment – “For 65 years, UK nuclear power plants have produced electricity, successfully supplying nearly one-fifth of its current global energy needs and two-fifths of its clean electricity”;
  • Health and Nuclear Medicine – “Each year, thousands of National Health Service patients benefit from advances in nuclear medicine in their treatment”;
  • Security and Non-Proliferation – “It is clear that nuclear science holds the keys to advancing many areas of our lives and can help governments and industry create a better planet for all of us.”

By fulfilling these four areas, NNL says it will also support the creation of highly skilled and well-paid jobs, mainly in the North West of England, where its four laboratories are located.

“Without nuclear, the UK will not meet this target on time. And without the work of NNL, the UK nuclear industry cannot deliver what is required,” said Paul Howarth, CEO of NNL. Modular reactors or delivering our first local supply of medical radioisotopes since the 1960s, NNL will be at the forefront of revolutionary advancements that will help transform the environment and people’s lives, today and in the future. “

The post includes an interview with NNL’s Scientific and Technological Director, Fiona Rayment, who said: ‘Our focus areas make perfect sense as they all have three qualities in common: they are all badly needed in the UK. are all areas in which we are. we are currently working on, and these are all areas where we have the capacity – i.e. infrastructure and skills – to grow and work with the entire nuclear industry to contribute successfully . “

She added: “Collaboration is essential in the nuclear industry because no area of ​​expertise resides in one organization. We would like to be in a situation where we are operating a user facility for our infrastructure, so that universities, other national laboratories and the entire supply chain can access it. It will be the nuclear industry that will continue to sell and use reactor technology, but our role is to support what the technology does, so that it can be successfully deployed in the commercial market. “

UK Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan says in the same publication that new and advanced nuclear is a key part of the government’s ten-point plan for a green industrial revolution, as nuclear power provides a reliable source of energy. low carbon electricity. “The National Nuclear Laboratory is at the forefront of pioneering innovation and remains a world leader in nuclear research and development. I am delighted that NNL is playing a vital role in the development of nuclear fuels and next generation fuel cycles, helping us to rebuild and eliminate the UK’s contribution to climate change, ”said the Minister.

Research and writing by World Nuclear News

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