Newcastle’s Penultimate Power UK have signed a partnership with the Japanese Atomic Energy (JAEA), with the hope to build a new type of nuclear power station across the UK which could create hundreds of jobs and help aid Britain’s energy crisis.

The North East firm targets Teesside as the first site to replicate the nuclear technology of the JAEA, as agency pf the Japanese Government.  The nuclear reactors are smaller than others, taking up about five acres of land.

The estimate cost of the plant is around £500 million to build and many of the parts for the reactors can be produced in a central factory as opposed to being built on the site. Teesside aims to build the central factory in Teesside which would create even more jobs. Funding for the project is expected to come from JAEA, as well as private investors. It is also hoped that the project will be supported by the UK government.

Newcastle University’s professor of energy conversion, Ian Fells said they are not just interested in building the one: “We interested in building a stream of them around the country in industrial areas. It is a gigantic leap ahead. This technology is forward looking. The power station can be constructed in a factory – they don’t need to be constructed on site – and they are inherently safe.” He added: “The prospect would be to have a factory that would be building most of the components for these sites and it is hoped that that would be built in the North East.”

The deal has come just a few weeks after Japanese industrial giant Hitachi suspended work on a multi-billion-pound nuclear project at Anglesey because of rising costs, and Penultimate Power hopes that they have found a resolution for the UK’s energy shortfall through the development of the small nuclear reactors. The reactors also produce high grade heat of up to 950 degree Celsius which can be used in the production of steel and hydrogen.

Commenting on the role its reactors could play in the UK’s energy infrastructure, Penultimate Power said: “We are excited to be working with Japan on this innovative technology. We are creating energy hubs that are inherently safe.

“The UK urgently needs affordable, carbon-free electricity that complements the renewable on the system, but this technology could prove a breakthrough in how we decarbonise heat and transport too, saving millions of tonnes of CO2, more efficiently, financially and environmentally, than any other method available.”


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