Holtec wins £30m grant from UK government to advance small modular nuclear reactor

Digital rendering of Holtec’s Dual-Unit SMR-300 small modular nuclear plant in perspective view Digital rendering of Holtec’s Dual-Unit SMR-300 small modular nuclear plant in perspective view (Image: Holtec)

Energy technology company Holtec has won £30 million (€35 million) in grant funding from the UK government to take its small modular nuclear reactor concept through the first steps to assessing its suitability for construction.

Holtec’s dual-unit SMR-300 design for a small advanced pressurised water reactor (PWR) has now started stages one and two of the UK’s Generic Design Assessment (GDA).

Separately, the SMR-300 is one of six designs for small modular reactors in a UK-government-led competition to find concepts “the most able to deliver operational SMRs by the mid-2030s”.

Winners are expected to be announced in 2024.

As part of the GDA process, the SMR-300 design will be scrutinised by regulators from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the Environment Agency (EA), and Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Holtec is working alongside engineer Mott MacDonald, and its global alliance partners, Hyundai E&C and Mitsubishi Electric on plans to build its SMRs in the UK.

It has previously identified three potential UK sites with existing nuclear power stations suitable for hosting the first wave of Holtec SMRs, at Trawsfynydd in Wales and Heysham and Oldbury in England.

Holtec said, “We are planning a large expansion in the region should Holtec be successful in the Great British Nuclear competition, locating a factory to build the major mechanical SMR components and other aligned areas of business (clean energy & defense) to support deployment of 5 GW+ of on-grid UK electricity by 2050.”

Director of Holtec Britain, Gareth Thomas, said, “We are pleased to have started GDA after planning the project for over 18 months, and are now building a large team of qualified engineers based out of our new office in Bristol, UK. In parallel we are advancing project delivery plans with our Global Team, unrivalled in nuclear power plant deployment experience.”

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