UK ministers will put nuclear power at the heart of Britain’s strategy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in government documents expected as early as this week, the Financial Times reported.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is to unveil an overarching “Net Zero Strategy” paper as soon as Monday, along with a “Heat and Building Strategy” and a Treasury assessment of the cost of reaching the 2050 goal, the report said.
The main UK net zero strategy will have a heavy focus on Britain’s nuclear power program. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was expected to give the go-ahead to the documents on Friday, according to the report.
The creation of a “regulated asset base” model will be key to delivering future large atomic-power stations. Under the plan, households will be charged for the cost of a plant via an energy levy long before it begins generating electricity, the report said.
Ministers are also backing smaller modular reactors, or SMRs, which are being developed by a consortium led by Rolls-Royce. Supporters of SMRs say these could be built in factories and have lower costs and risks than large atomic plants, according to the report.
A separate report by The Guardian said the consortium has secured 210 million pounds ($289 million) from private investors, a sum the newspaper said the government is expected to match or better.
Government backing will pave the way for the consortium’s multibillion-pound plan to build 16 SMRs in the UK, the first of which could be plugged into the grid by 2031, the Guardian said.