A £120m government fund designed to unlock and accelerate new nuclear technologies, while encouraging new players into the market, has been announced.
The Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) hopes 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, to attract the private investment they need to help make them a reality.
Nuclear power is a key part of the UK’s energy mix, helping to reduce dependence on global gas markets, boosting UK energy independence, protecting consumers from high energy bills and stimulating investment in nuclear as a clean energy technology of the future.
The Future Nuclear Enabling Fund is expected to support industry investment in nuclear, offer opportunities to projects in every region of the UK and create high-skilled jobs, as well as boosting the resilience and capability of UK nuclear supply chains.
The government is asking interested parties to register their interest in bidding for funding and inviting further information on potential future projects. It is also inviting nuclear stakeholders who are not planning on bidding for the fund to provide information from their experience that will help to mature fund design ahead of opening the bid window in summer 2022.
Business and energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, commented: “Our new £120m fund will push forward our plan to deploy a new fleet of nuclear power stations as part of a British nuclear renaissance.
“By encouraging new companies to come forward and build in Britain, we can spur greater competition in the market to cut development costs so consumers benefit in the long-term.
“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.”