The UK government is currently accepting applications for its GBP75m (USD90.5m) new Nuclear Fuel Fund, as reported by Reuters on January 2. The Nuclear Fuel Fund is intended to increase local nuclear fuel production for power plants and reduce dependency on Russian uranium supplies. Currently, around 20% of the world’s capability for converting uranium is owned by Russia. The Nuclear Fuel Fund will provide grants to companies engaged in uranium conversion, a crucial step in the production of nuclear fuel from the metal. The fund also seeks to help projects develop new fuel types that are essential for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs) and to promote investment in the development and commercialization of new fuel technologies for domestic nuclear fuel generation.
The establishment of the Nuclear Fuel Fund is also in line with the UK government’s ambition to expand local nuclear capacity to up to 24 gigawatts (GW) by 2050 and safeguard the country’s energy security. The Springfields nuclear fuel production facility in northwest England has already received approximately GBP13mn (USD15.58mn) from the fund. The UK is also planning to invest GBP700m (USD838.88m) in the Sizewell C nuclear project to increase domestic energy supply and establish energy independence.