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Nuclear Reactors

Question for Treasury

UIN 228709, tabled on 5 March 2019

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference his oral contribution on 5 March 2019, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on an industrial strategy for small modular nuclear reactors.

Answered on

11 March 2019

The government recognises the potential for the UK to become a leader in developing the next generations of nuclear technologies, provided there is demonstrable value for money for consumers and taxpayers. The Nuclear Sector Deal published last year outlines the government’s ongoing commitment to nuclear innovation, including a new framework to support the deployment of small modular reactors. Up to £56m is available to support the development of advanced modular reactors, including up to £44m for a Feasibility and Development Project and £12m for the Office of Nuclear Regulation and Environment Agency to build the necessary capability.

The government provides extensive support for renewable energy, with around £10bn of annual of low carbon levies supporting the sector and up to £557 million (2011/12 prices) of further support available, starting with the next Contract for Difference allocation round, which will open by May 2019. These auctions are expected to secure 1-2GW of low carbon generation each year in the 2020s.

The government has implemented a number of measures to support the oil and gas sector, including £2.3bn of fiscal changes since 2015, £45m to support exploration, and the introduction of Transferable Tax History to aid investment in late-life assets. As outlined in the Industrial Strategy White Paper, no new government funding is available for sector deals. However, we welcome the way industry has come together under the leadership of Trevor Garlick to enable elements of the proposed sector deal to take shape. The government will continue its close engagement with the sector to consider what we can best do together to strengthen our partnership.

Answered by

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