Lancashire nuclear workers to get a share of £40m future developments fund

Nuclear workers in Lancashire are set to contribute to  research on the next generation of power stations following a £40m Government lay out.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 7:00 am

The Minister for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi announced the cash to help create thousands of low carbon energy jobs by developing new nuclear energy technology.

Part of this funding will support three Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) projects, which are far smaller than traditional nuclear plants and use intense heat generated in nuclear reactions to produce low-carbon electricity.

They can be used at remote locations thanks to their size, and can produce enough energy to power anything from a small village to a medium-sized city.

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Westinghouse's Springfields nuclear fuel site

One of the projects, which, has been given £10m of the funding, will be Westinghouse’s plans for a lead-cooled fast reactor, a type of fission reactor.

Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse president and chief executive officer said “This builds on our eighty-year history in the UK as a Strategic National Asset.

"This is the perfect combination of reducing the cost of electricity and maintaining a leading edge of science, research and innovation for the UK.”

As part of the AMR project, some of the development facilities will be established at the Clean Energy Technology Park at Springfields, Salwick.

Nadhim Zahawi MP

The Westinghouse LFR, a 450 MWe-class Generation IV reactor design has a simplified design, flexible operations and fuel cycle capabilities, zero CO2 emissions, walk-away safety features and modular assembly.

Minister Nadhim Zahawi, said: “Advanced modular reactors are the next step in nuclear energy and have the potential to be a crucial part of tackling carbon emissions and climate change.

“Today’s investment will immediately create new jobs in Oxfordshire, Cheshire and Lancashire. But through this vital research, the technology could also create thousands more green collar jobs for decades to come.”

Other projects helped will be the Oxfordshire Tokamak fusion project and the U-Battery Cheshire, small high temperature gas-cooled fission reactor.