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Italian energy start-up has a blast with plans for nuclear expansion across UK

Nucleo
Nucleo Copyright From Nuclear website
Copyright From Nuclear website
By Euronews
Published on
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Italian energy company Nucleo confirms it is seeking to build 20 mini reactors in the United Kingdom.

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Nucleo says it is aiming to take advantage of plans for nuclear power expansion in the UK and wants to build 20 mini reactors at various locations on six sites close to energy intensive industries. 

The plants would be powered by plutonium, a fuel not currently used in the UK and mainly associated with nuclear weapons, according to the Telegraph report.

The company said it wanted to build near dense population centres, following the UK government's recent relaxation of rules restricting nuclear developments to remote locations. 

Newcleo's managing director for nuclear, Andrew Murdoch, told the Telegraph: "We have started shortlisting the best locations for us, and we're advancing some discussions."

Referring to key industrial centres, such as Teesside, Humberside and Merseyside, he added: "The industrial clusters are a natural place to go. It's where a lot of the energy transition opportunities are centred, so they provide a great opportunity."

Mr Murdoch told the paper that the generating capacity of Newcleo's reactors will be much smaller than those currently being built at Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C. This meant that they would be small enough to be built inside factories, potentially offering huge cost benefits, he added.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Andrew Murdoch stressed that the current focus for Newcleo was to create a working reactor design, which would be the first step towards potentially securing regulatory approval.

If approved, Mr Murdoch told the paper that the reactors would cost around £5bn per gigawatt of generation capacity, compared to £15bn per gigawatt cost of Hinkley Point C.

The small reactors could also be built and installed within up to four years, unlike the two decades required for Hinkley, he explained.

Newcleo has its headquarters in London but most of its research and staff is based in Italy. 

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