The purpose of this SMR Deployment Enablers Project is to determine in support of potential SMR deployment in the UK:
the activities comprising the first five years of a development programme for the UK deployment of a Small Modular Reactor
a timeline with milestones to accompany this programme definition
the necessary capability of the SMR utility/developer organisation during this phase of a UK SMR development programme
This is the Final Report, Deliverable 8, and supersedes previous interim Deliverables, or Deliverable Packs,. The reports explain the logic and necessity for the enabling activities during the first 5 years of such a programme.
This report summarises the wider study commissioned by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to understand the opportunities for the deployment of Small Modular Reactors (SMR) as part of the transition towards a UK low carbon energy system. This wider study has considered key factors such as siting criteria and the potential locations for early SMR deployment in the UK; and the development characteristics, timescales, operational performance and cost envelope for SMRs to be an attractive technology. Building on the findings from this earlier work, the SMR Deployment Enablers (SDE) Project identifies the enabling activities that would be necessary in the first five years of a programme to support potential operations of a first UK SMR by 2030.
The following conclusions are reached:
Implementation of an First OfA Kind (FOAK) SMR is possible without facilitative action by Government
Pre-FID investor confidence is of critical importance for achieving the 2030 timeline
For an effective programme to achieve FOAK SMR deployment, significant Governmentcommitment and facilitative action is required from the outset
It is insufficient for the first 5 years of the deployment schedule to focus on just GDAand RegulatoryJustification
A strong and early marriage is required between developer / operator and vendor
The notion of a developer / operator / vendor ‘boot camp’ is proposed as a near-term risk mitigation activity
li>Deployment of a FOAK SMR in the UK is achievable by 2030underthe bounding scenario considered by this study
The scale of the recruitment challenge to establish a Nuclear Baseline should not be underestimated, with staged planning essential
Regulators will need tobe able to resource-up without adverse influence on current UK nuclear safety activity
A co-ordinated public communications plan is required, led by the prospective Licensee, supported by the vendor and facilitated by Government
Bounding assumptions were judged to be sound in the context of a deployment schedule leading to a UK FOAK SMR operating by 2030
The evidence gathered forms the basis of a toolkit which could be used to test or assess the feasibility of specific scenarios for SMR Deployment in the UK
The schedule for UK FOAK deployment operations would depend upon the associated assumptions. Such options may include:
A risk-averse deployment plan which focusses on completion of GDA and Regulatory Justification to establish a credible design before commencing work on site specific aspects and developing a credible nuclear operator. This may suggest a schedule with risk of delay to FOAK first operation beyond 2030.
A deployment plan for a less technology/design ready SMR. GDA would not commence until later in the schedule with possible plans to complete manufacturing and construction in a shorter timeframe.This may suggest a schedule with risk of delay to FOAK first operation beyond 2030.
Assessment of developer / operators with different characteristics and different working arrangements and modes of engagement with the vendor. For example,a developer with a mature and capable licensee organisation which may suggest an opportunity for an accelerated deployment schedule.
FOAK deployment at a site identified as potentially suitable for nuclear development in the Nuclear NPS.This may again suggest an opportunity for an accelerated deployment schedule