Welcome to the Nuclear Group
The role of the KTN's Energy Community is to simplify the UK Energy Innovation landscape by providing a clear and focused vehicle for the rapid transfer of high-quality information on technologies, markets, funding and partnering opportunities.
Within the Nuclear Group we will be addressing some of the opportunities considered by Innovate UK (previously known as the Technology Strategy Board, TSB) to present significant benefit to the UK, both in terms of the capability within the UK, and to help the UK to compete in the international nuclear renaissance.
The UK's knowledge and experience of the nuclear industry is vast – being the nation to develop and operate the world's first nuclear power station on an industrial scale at Calder Hall in 1956. Since that time, nuclear energy has provided the UK with up to one third of its electricity.
Currently there is a huge amount of work in decommissioning of current plants. Innovation is required to ensure that these plants are decommissioning safely and that any radioactive wastes can be safely stored, prior to final disposal.
At the same time, the UK will be building new nuclear power stations with the first being developed by EDF, followed by Horizon Nuclear Power and NuGeneration. It is anticipated that the first of new plant will be on line by 2023.
As these next generation of nuclear reactors comes on line the UK is seeking to make best use of its historical knowledge and apply its capability to new developments, both at home and internationally, through concentrating on those areas where the UK has particularly strong expertise; for example, decommissioning and nuclear fuel cycle services.
The international drive for low carbon energy generation and improved energy security is leading to many countries investigating the part that nuclear power can play in their energy strategy. China, Russia and India have particularly ambitious plans to increase their nuclear power supply; however several countries are also planning to enter the market. The UK is in a position to support these developments, not only through its own history in the nuclear arena, but also through associated industries such as financial and legal services, project management and education.
The UK also has world-leading expertise in the area of nuclear fusion. The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) is the UK's national laboratory for fusion research and it has made many major contributions to international fusion research and development over many years. Today it hosts the world's largest magnetic fusion experiment, JET (Joint European Torus), on behalf of its European partners.
The aim of the Nuclear Group is therefore to enable the development of capabilities that the UK is strong in, and to create an environment where companies traditionally not involved in the nuclear arena can apply their expertise to the industry in the UK and internationally.