Energy crisis lifeline as new £75m fund opens to boost UK nuclear power production

Energy crisis has led UK to 'foothills of recession' says expert

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The Nuclear Fuel Fund will award grants to projects that can increase the UK’s domestic nuclear fuel sector. It is hoped that the new cash fund will encourage investment and expansion of new nuclear infrastructure.

Funding will go towards designing and developing new facilities.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We’ve got big plans to boost British nuclear power, so it makes perfect sense to ensure we have a strong, resilient, domestic fuel supply chain to match.

“This funding will kickstart projects in the UK and generate private investment in facilities that will fuel the nuclear reactors of today and tomorrow, shoring up our energy security while creating jobs.”

The government backing will encourage private sector co-investment into the projects and aims to help the UK build on its “legacy of nuclear fuel innovation and production.”

As the UK considers future nuclear requirements, there may be a greater range of reactor types to draw from.

This will see the nuclear fuel sector become even more important.
A secure, resilient supply of fuel for domestic reactors will build on this, ensuring they can be called upon to power the economy.

Up to £75million in grants will be awarded to support the development costs of investments into new nuclear fuel capabilities in the UK, supporting a range of reactor types and sizes, including small and advanced modular reactors.

The Nuclear Fuel Fund will also support companies to access new markets both domestically and internationally, and preserve and create skills and know-how in parts of the country – with the sector having a large presence in the Northwest.

It comes following news that the Government are falling short on plans to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028, with the UK installing just 60,000 per year currently.

National Grid’s electricity system operator warned that Government subsidies of £450million will only support 90,000 installations.

National Grid ESO added: “For the Government’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028 to remain on track, an average of over 90,000 per year will need to be installed for the next three years. Further measures will be needed along with cost reductions for heat pumps delivered by industry.”

The report by National Grid explored the supply and demand challenges facing the UK’s energy infrastructure.

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It looked into the possibility of Putin cutting off Europe’s gas supplies, as well as looking into consumer behaviour.

It warned that it was unlikely homes would look into purchasing green energy equipment, like heat pumps and solar panels.

It said: “In almost all cases a significant increase in uptake of these technologies is needed by consumers, with a doubling or even trebling needed in the next 13 years in some instances.”

Fintan Slye, executive director of National Grid ESO, said: “Significantly accelerating the transition to a decarbonised energy system can help to address security and affordability concerns at the same time as delivering net zero milestones.”

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