Small nuclear power

Inquiry status: Report published and Government response received

Nuclear power stations have been growing in size, from a typical size in the 1950s of 60 MWe to modern plants up to 1.6 GWe. At the same time many smaller nuclear power reactors have been built for naval use and there is increasing interest in potential wider applications of small nuclear reactors. The International Atomic Energy Agency defines ‘small’ as under 300 MWe, and up to about 700 MWe as ‘medium’ yet this includes radically different technologies. In 2011 there were 125 small and medium units in operation and 17 under construction, in 28 countries, totalling 57 GWe capacity. This inquiry will look at the potential role of small nuclear power in the UK, including the barriers to deployment as well as potential risks and opportunities. 



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