The UK government has committed to a clean growth strategy, whereby it is legally bound to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to levels in 1990. In order to achieve this the UK needs to develop low carbon energy sources for electricity, transportation, domestic and industrial heat, light and power. This, combined with the fact that the UK demand for electricity is likely to double by 2050, poses a significant challenge for the UK. In light of these finding the UK government has invested £250 million into nuclear research and development (R&D), thus recognising the key role that nuclear plays in producing low carbon, clean, safe and reliable energy for the UK both now and into the future.
This paper provides an overview of the ongoing activities in the UK within this R&D programme focused on developing a UK forward plan for defining the long term requirements for the design codes and standards for small modular reactors (SMRs) and generation (Gen) IV reactors (also including advanced modular reactors). The project is being undertaken by Wood Nuclear and National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). In order to ensure a complete UK perspective is captured, an advisory board has been established with experts in this field, from academia, industry and also national laboratories. Discussions with all parties produced a series of items to be addressed in order for current Design Codes and Standards to be applicable for SMR and Gen IV reactors.
This paper summarises these activities and key findings.