National Nuclear Laboratory


Thursday 29 July 2021

Response to government announcement on the advanced modular reactor (AMR) demonstration programme

In response to today’s Government announcement that plans have moved a step closer to having the latest nuclear technology up and running within the next decade, Dr Paul Howarth, Chief Executive Officer of the National Nuclear Laboratory, said:

“With the Call for Evidence published today on an Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) demonstration programme, the government is once more signalling its support for nuclear as part of a clean, secure and affordable future energy mix. We firmly support and champion this view, recognising the need for large scale, Small Modular and Advanced Modular Reactor technologies. Bringing a focus on deployment of a demonstration programme is particularly welcome news, leveraging the UK’s rich nuclear heritage to help us meet our net zero goals.

“With over 50 years’ experience of operating the world’s only commercial fleet of gas-cooled nuclear reactors, as well as sodium fast, steam generating heavy water and light water reactors, the UK uniquely boasts the skills, talent and capability to deliver advanced nuclear technologies and the entire supply chain that enables them. In doing so, we have the capability to support a world-leading nuclear hydrogen economy – driving growth and high-skilled green jobs right across the UK.

“Underpinning the development of these technologies, however, is continued investment in specialist skills and expertise, which is why we are excited to be hosting the new pilot for the Advanced Nuclear Skills and Innovation Campus in Preston. Located at one of our existing cutting-edge laboratories on the Springfields site, this new pilot campus will be a focal point for collaboration between industry and academia and help unlock vital scientific advancements.

“We also welcome the continuation of funding for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme (AFCP), which we have been leading on behalf of BEIS, building on the tremendous achievements which have been delivered by the programme to date. This work is already an excellent example of the value of partnerships across the nuclear sector, in growing the UK’s capabilities to be at the global forefront of advanced nuclear technology.”

The Government’s announcement can be found here: