Assessing Investment enablers for SMRsLaying the foundations for investment

SMR
Turner Harris worked with the Energy Technologies Institute to identify what actions would be required to enable the economic deployment of small modular nuclear reactors in the UK.

Our analysis and final report was used jointly to inform the UK Government’s approach to promoting investment in SMR technology, and in smoothing the pathways to deployment for potential developer/operator organisations.

challenge

In March 2016, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) appointed DAS Ltd, with specialist support from Turner Harris to deliver their Small Modular Reactor Deployment Enablers project.

A previous ETI project focusing on alternative nuclear technologies provided an overview of the broad issues and associated timescales required to support a UK SMR fleet deployment from 2030 onwards.

It found that there are still many uncertainties around SMR development in the UK but that progress needs to made across a number of areas from 2016 onwards if the option to include them in the UK’s future energy mix is to be kept open.

The purpose of this project was to identify what activities need to take place in the first five years of a development plan for UK SMRs and the necessary capability of the SMR utility/developer organisation during this phase to reduce the risk for investment.

The core brief was to:

  • Highlight enabling activities to support deployment
  • Build upon existing study outputs
  • Develop an guideline schedule for a successful national deployment programme

solution

We provided specialist advisory support in the areas of project financing, infrastructure investment and Government policy to assess the prevailing investment environment for Small Modular Reactors, (both in the UK and in parallel markets) and made recommendations for risk reduction and programme acceleration.

The team identified the key challenges facing developers and operator organisations in this fledgling industry and drew comparisons with the those being faced by Gigawatt-scale New Build programmes globally.

From there, strategies for the reduction of risk and on innovative approaches to streamlining the structuring, funding and business justification of the developer/operator entity were developed, and linked to a definitive 15-year programme plan, incorporating all technical, regulatory, financial, legislative and economic preparatory activities required to bring SMRs to the UK market.

results

Turner Harris delivered its contribution to the project to strict time and cost constraints. The analysis and final report was used jointly to inform the UK Government’s approach to promoting investment in SMR technology, and in smoothing the pathways to deployment for potential developer/operator organisations.

Some of the key deliverables achieved through the project are highlighted below:

  • Identified requirements surrounding the financial structuring and funding of the developer/operator entity and the positioning of an overarching business case.
  • Defined the requirements for Government Facilitative Action in the areas of global trade policy, nuclear skillsets and national infrastructure investment policy to support investor confidence.
  • Made recommendations on the approach to reducing risk in the areas of Intellectual Property and technology licensing for potential UK/International SMR developers.
  • Authored an overarching narrative to link technical and financial enabling activities to a high-level schedule for UK deployment.
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