The new fund, which is a part of the British Energy Security Strategy, will offer grants to nuclear construction projects to help in achieving the government’s goal of approving eight new reactors by the end of this decade
The UK government has launched the £120m Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF), aimed at unlocking and fast tracking new nuclear technologies while promoting the entry of new players into the market.
According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the new fund will help in achieving the government’s goal of approving eight new reactors by the end of this decade.
The Future Nuclear Enabling Fund is part of the British Energy Security Strategy that was disclosed last month. The fund was first announced in the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
Eventually, the government aims to produce up to 24GW of nuclear-sourced energy by 2050.
Under the new fund, nuclear construction projects will receive support through targeted and competitively-allocated grants from the government. The grants will also be applicable to small modular reactors (SMRs) for attracting the private investment required in making them a reality.
UK Energy Minister Greg Hands said: “This government is backing nuclear power as a critical part of our British Energy Security Strategy.
“This Fund will accelerate the development of new nuclear – from SMRs to larger-projects – and bring fresh innovation into the market.”
The British government wants interested parties to register their interest in bidding for the new fund and is seeking further information on potential projects in the future.
Besides, the government is inviting nuclear stakeholders who does not intend to bid for the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund to give information from their experience. This will help in maturing the design of the fund prior to opening the bid window in summer 2022, said BEIS.
The government expects to issue the funding awards starting this summer.
UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “By encouraging new companies to come forward and build in Britain, we can spur greater competition in the market to cut development costs so consumers benefit in the long-term.
“Nuclear is central to our long-term plan bolster the UK’s energy security with cheaper, cleaner, home-grown power, while creating thousands of high-skilled jobs across our country.”
The UK government has also appointed Simon Bowen as the industry adviser to BEIS. Bowen will be responsible for leading and helping to push forward its proposals for a new Great British Nuclear vehicle.