UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has approved GBP31m in new funding, which aims to enhance the supply chain and help to commercialise new technologies in the nuclear industry.

Together, four government bodies, the Technology Strategy Board, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), have committed nearly £18m for nuclear projects, while the government funding is expected to leverage in an additional £13m.

The funds will help overall 35 projects throughout the UK, which are developing new technologies for the construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants.

In addition, the funds will benefit about 60 organisations, including developers, Laing O’Rourke, Sheffield Forgemasters and EDF, who will work alongside small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and universities to advance nuclear projects.

Cable said that UK is well placed to take advantage of huge global opportunities in the nuclear industry.

"The Technology Strategy Board is playing a vital role in helping UK businesses realise their potential and compete on a bigger scale," Cable added.

"There are many innovative SMEs across the nuclear sector and this joint funding reinforces the government’s commitment to a nuclear strategy that will create jobs and growth."

Bristol-based OC Robotics has received about £6m in funding, which will help the company to develop a new technology called LaserSnake, a robot-controlled laser cutting tool that can be used underwater or above ground in confined and hazardous spaces.