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Topic Title: Funding Fourth Generation Nuclear Engineering Research and Development
Topic Summary: I have written an email to the State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) in China
Created On: 13 July 2013 02:25 PM
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 13 July 2013 02:25 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1032
Joined: 05 September 2004

The email was cc'd to DECC and to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The content of the email is below...

I understand from the British media that your company is interested in taking a stake in the NuGen UK nuclear company owned by GDF SUEZ and IBERDROLA.

I am an Engineering Consultant and a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and wish to ask you for more information about your future investment strategy in the UK.

I would welcome a publicly articulated investment strategy from your company that had a slightly longer term view, and which involved concentrating on bringing new technological innovations to fruition for commercial roll-out starting in the mid 2030's. Examples of such a technology would be factory built Fourth Generation Small Modular Reactors, in particular Molten Salt Reactors.

I think it would be a great mistake for your company to get involved with trying to build existing 3rd Generation Nuclear Reactor designs in the UK. I think you will just be wasting your time, and risk reputational damage with little likelihood of building plants to time and to budget generating electricity in a cost competitive way to consumers. Inward investment from your company into the UK is much more likely to be welcomed by the public if it can be seen to be offering good value for money and with the likelihood of bringing household bills down as a result.

If in reviewing the full range of investment choices open to you, you find it more attractive to consider a more gradual investment build up in the UK, with an initial research and development led strategy, the goal being to get new commercial designs of flexible fourth generation reactor ready to replace gas and coal power stations by the mid-2030's in both China and the UK.

At the present time the UK government does not fully support this longer term vision and initially there will be some very hard work needed to change the minds of people at the top of government. The choice is really between further investment in third generation technologies with little prospect for popular public support, or beginning the hard work necessary to build the foundations for a longer term sustainable business model that benefits the people of both the UK and China. Make your own choice.

I have cc'd The Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the UK, so that they can pass comment on the content of my e-mail if they wish. DECC has people working on secondment from various private sector energy generators such as EDF, so the content of this email and any you in turn send may well (for all I know) be accessible by them as well.

I may want to pass any replies you send to me, to academics I know that are interested in participating in new fourth generation nuclear research and development, with the aim of building a small modular molten salt reactor in the UK, if that is ok.


Best Regards,

James Arathoon



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James Arathoon
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