Sue Hayman, Member of Parliament for Workington, has called on the Government to get behind the nuclear industry and West Cumbria and back research and development of small modular reactors (SMRs).
In her role as co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Nuclear Energy, she put pressure on the Government when she spoke at the launch of the SMR National Endeavour Report at the Institute of Civil Engineers in London on Tuesday 12th September.
SMRs are much smaller than nuclear power stations and could provide low-cost, low-carbon, locally-produced and reliable energy, helping the UK meet future electricity demand without needing to rely on imports. Experts predict the SMR industry could create 40,000 skilled jobs and bring in billions of pounds in investment.
Sue said: “The UK, and West Cumbria, has an opportunity to lead the world on SMR research, development and manufacturing. The SMR consortium in the UK is led by Rolls-Royce, and in West Cumbria the National Nuclear Laboratory is carrying out critical research.
“But other countries are also investing in SMR technology, and without support and progress from the Government we could miss this fantastic opportunity.
“I told the audience that over the last two years there has been little interest from the Government, despite the efforts of industry, and I am now going to increase pressure through the nuclear APPG to ensure that SMRs become a priority.”
Other speakers at the event were Warren East, Chief Executive of Rolls-Royce; Paul Howarth, CEO of the National Nuclear Laboratory; and Tom Greatrex, CEO of the Nuclear Industry Association.