A Lords committee has been critical of the government’s indecision in developing nuclear policy and the resultant “negative effect” it has had on the nuclear sector.

The Lords science and technology committee published a report on 2 May in which it cited the government’s failure to publish the results of the first phase of the small modular reactor (SMR) competition as particularly damaging. SMRs are considered less expensive than traditional reactors, while they are also smaller, manufactured offsite before being fully constructed onsite – allowing for increased efficiency and security.

The report warned that if policy makers did not act soon, then the necessary high level of industrial interest would not be maintained. It further set out how delay in taking civil nuclear policy decisions had “seriously” hampered the UK industry’s potential ability to effectively contribute to national policies which might ultimately be favoured.

Chairman of the committee, the Earl of Selborne said: “If the government’s aim is for the UK to be active across the main areas of nuclear R&D it needs to make significant investments in new technologies or we risk falling behind the rest of the world.”

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