The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced the launch of a €142 million (£120 million) Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) to support development of new nuclear energy projects, stimulate competition in the industry and unlock investment across the UK.
The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced the launch of a €142 million (£120 million) Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) to support development of new nuclear energy projects, stimulate competition in the industry and unlock investment across the UK. The FNEF will help to realise the government’s ambition to approve eight new reactors by 2030, as committed to in the British Energy Security Strategy in April. It will provide targeted, competitively-allocated government grants which will help nuclear construction projects, including small modular reactors (SMRs), to attract the private investment they need to help make them a reality.
Launching the Fund from Wylfa nuclear power station in Anglesey, Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Our new GBP120 million fund will push forward our plan to deploy a new fleet of nuclear power stations as part of a British nuclear renaissance. 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 government asked interested parties to register their interest in bidding for funding and inviting further information on potential future projects.
In addition, the Great British Nuclear (announced in April in the British Energy Security Strategy) will be charged with helping nuclear projects through the development process and realising the government’s ambition of generating up to 24GW of nuclear-sourced energy by 2050.
BEIS said the FNEF is intended “to provide targeted support to address barriers to entry to the UK market by providing competitively-allocated grant funding to nuclear projects with credible proposals”. Depending on the pipeline of projects, these ambitions could see our nuclear sector progressing up to eight more reactors across the next series of projects, so we improve our track record to deliver the equivalent of one reactor a year, rather than one a decade.”
This is in addition to existing investment of over €1.18 billion staked by the Parliament on new nuclear, including €118 million to support the development of Sizewell C, and €248 million to develop SMRs. The government expects to concentrate funding on a small number of projects and aims to start awarding funding in the summer of 2022.