Over the last 60-70 years the size of nuclear reactor units has grown. However, the capital costs remain high and there are an increasing number of political, economic and environmental pressures associated with their construction.
Will this drive a greater appetite for the development of smaller nuclear units? The benefits of doing so are compelling - more manageable capital costs, options for independent or modular construction (which allows for capacity to be increased incrementally to meet demand), opportunities to utilise existing brownfield sites and the ability to service more remote areas.
It will be interesting to see how nuclear energy generation in this space develops over the coming years.
Rolls-Royce has announced that it plans to build, install, and operate up to 15 mini nuclear reactors in Britain, with the first set to go online in nine years. In a BBC Radio 4 interview with business journalist Katie Prescott on January 24, 2020's Today program, Paul Stein, chief technology officer for Rolls-Royce, said that the company is leading a consortium to produce factory-built modular nuclear reactors that can be delivered for assembly by ordinary lorries.https://newatlas.com/energy/rolls-royce-plans-mini-nuclear-reactors-in-britain/