UK government launches £75m nuclear fuel fund

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy kicks off new Nuclear Fuel Fund to encourage investment and in nuclear supply chain

The UK government has launched a new £75m fund that aims to catalyse investment in the nuclear fuel sector.

Businesses can now register their interest in accessing funding from the Nuclear Fuel Fund, ahead of the scheme opening for applications later this year, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced today.

BEIS said that it hopes the cash boost from the fund will encourage investment and expansion in new nuclear infrastructure, while also protecting highly skilled jobs in the sector.

The Nuclear Fuel Fund will seek to award grants to projects that can increase the UK’s domestic nuclear fuel sector, reducing the need for foreign imports and creating the material used in nuclear power stations to generate electricity with funding set to support the design and development of new facilities, BEIS said.

The government added it hoped the funding will encourage private sector co-investment into new projects and ensure the UK builds on its legacy of nuclear fuel innovation and production.

“We’ve got big plans to boost British nuclear power, so it makes perfect sense to ensure we have a strong, resilient, domestic fuel supply chain to match,” said Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

“This funding will kickstart projects in the UK and generate private investment in facilities that will fuel the nuclear reactors of today and tomorrow, shoring up our energy security while creating jobs.”

Today’s announcement follows the publication British Energy Security Strategy in April, in which the government set an ambition to approve up to eight new reactors by 2030, including taking one project to full investment decision (FID) this Parliament and two projects to FID in the next Parliament, as it looks to further boost energy independence and accelerate the shift away from costly fossil fuels.

The Nuclear Fuel Fund will see up to £75m in grants awarded to support the development costs of investments into new nuclear fuel capabilities in the UK. BEIS said it is looking to support a range of reactor types and sizes, including small and advanced modular reactors.

The Nuclear Fuel Fund will also look to support companies trying to access new markets both domestically and internationally, as well as preserving and supporting existing and developing UK nuclear fuel markets.

BEIS said it is also inviting nuclear stakeholders who are not planning on bidding for the Fund to provide feedback to help shape the final fund design ahead of the application window opening in Autumn 2022.

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