The government recently announced £40m worth of funding to unlock thousands of ‘green’ jobs by helping to develop the next generation of nuclear technology for energy industry and several of the schemes are located in the north-west.
A portion of this funding is to support three Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) projects, reactors far smaller than ordinary nuclear plants and use the intense heat generated in nuclear fission to produce low-carbon electricity.
The reactors can be used at remote locations thanks to their relatively compact size, and can generate enough energy to power everything from a small village to a medium-sized city.
£30m of the funding will accelerate the development of the three AMR projects, including locations in Cheshire and Lancashire, and move them closer towards supplying low-carbon energy to the UK.
The outstanding £10m will be invested into unlocking smaller research, design, and manufacturing projects and could create up to 200 jobs.
Minister for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “Advanced modular reactors are the next step in nuclear energy and have the potential to be a crucial part of tackling carbon emissions and climate change. Today’s investment will immediately create new jobs in Lancashire, Cheshire and Oxfordshire but through this vital research, the technology could also create thousands more green collar jobs for decades to come.”
Today’s funding will make the technology more attractive to private investors, supercharging the expansion of the industry and creating supply chains feeding future modular reactor developments. Cammell Laird’s, FAITH in the Wirral, will get £5.1m.
Recent research has revealed that the country’s nuclear industry could contribute £9.6bn per year to the economy and sustain 130,000 jobs by 2050, in addition to creating significant export potential for AMR technology.
The new technology provides the possibility to diversify the UK’s low-carbon energy mix by producing heat for industry as well as zero-carbon hydrogen. AMRs have already shown the potential to stimulate private investment.
A major part of the UK’s nuclear research operates in a belt running from North Wales to Cumbria, regions that could benefit from the nuclear industry’s enormous potential for job creation.
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