The UK government will establish an organization called Great British Nuclear (GBN) to build small modular reactors (SMR) and phase out traditional gas and oil power stations, as reported by Times on November 26. The GBN will develop a network for the SMRs currently being built by the British luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce [RR:LN]. Earlier this month, Rolls-Royce urged the UK government to enter formal discussions about funding for the development of SMRs to avoid a country-wide electricity crisis. Tom Samson, head of Rolls-Royce’s SMR business, argued that the SMRs are a more reliable energy source than weather-dependent renewable energies such as wind and solar power. Rolls-Royce was also in talks with a British multinational fuel and chemicals company Ineos Group [2523946Z:LN] to develop SMR technologies.
Currently, 16% of the UK’s electricity is generated from nuclear power. However, half of the UK’s nuclear power stations will be retired by 2025. The UK government hopes that the establishment of GBN will accelerate the expansion of the country’s nuclear capacity. In October 2022, the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Cwmni Egino, a company set up by the Welsh government, to support their SMR project in North Wales and enable future collaboration on nuclear development in the country.