Generating about 250 megawatts of power, they are far less powerful than traditional plants such as Hinkley Point at 3.2 gigawatts, but can be mass produced quickly and at a fraction of the cost.
Earl of Selborne John Roundell Palmer, who chairs the Lords’ science and technology committee which produced the report, said: “The UK has long-standing and continuing commitments to civil nuclear energy and is now strategically positioned to capture opportunities, especially for SMRs. The incoming Government must end its cycle of indecision on nuclear policy.”
The report noted the Government’s failure to keep up to its own schedule after launching an industry competition for SMR designs, adding “this has had a negative effect on the nuclear sector and if the Government does not act soon the necessary high level of industrial interest will not be maintained”.
The report also said that Brexit means the UK leaving the Euratom organisation, and warned this could mean Britain falling behind in research into new areas such as fusion, as well as losing access to skills needed by the sector. This could possibly result in existing power stations being unable to acquire the fuel they need.