Mirion Attends the Advanced Nuclear Technologies Conference 2023
The Nuclear Industry Association for the U.K., more commonly known as NIA, hosted the Advanced Nuclear Technologies Conference (ANT 2023) on June 14 in Manchester, U.K. – the first event of its kind in the region. The conference was dedicated to Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs). Mirion Technologies was represented at this event to share how we can support SMR and AMR developers with a variety of solutions.
In comparison with traditional nuclear power plants, a modular nuclear reactor’s smaller size and factory-based production processes enable faster construction times, reduced capital costs, and a level of flexibility for producing clean, reliable energy particularly to remote communities and heavy industries. A modular reactor can be transported to, and subsequently be operated from, a different location from where it was built; their recent emergence in the civil nuclear market means they are expected to play an increasingly critical role in the worldwide pursuit of sustainable, low-carbon energy solutions.
NIA’s Advanced Nuclear Technologies Event
The event, which was held in a hanger housing a decommissioned Concorde plane, provided the opportunity to reflect on the capabilities of the British industry and an example of a successful international collaboration in advanced technology areas. Much the same may be required to enable modular reactor power plants. The conference presentations were led by key SMR and AMR reactor developers and fuel manufacturing firms with input from the U.K. regulators, government and potential users of the energy, providing insights into their respective strategies and roles.
“The market confidence in the modular reactors is growing exponentially in the U.K.” said Jas Singh, Mirion Technologies Business Development Manager. “In addition to Rolls Royce SMR, we have seen several overseas technology developers invest in the country. Therefore, it is vital that we show our support to our current and potential customers in this segment.”
Other topics included the viability of modular reactors for district heating, hydrogen production, shipping, and space applications as well as nuclear fuel production in the U.K. and beyond. An updated U.K. and global perspective was also provided for other advanced nuclear technologies, notably nuclear fusion, which is seeing an increasing investment in research. The presentations showed the technical advantages of the seven main SMR technologies and how they each bring unique offerings. Lively panel discussions provided insight into SMR and AMR supplier/government engagement and how the government needs to support by providing the correct financial backing to increase market confidence. Additionally, topics of common interest across the nuclear industry were discussed including the nuclear skills gap and how universities and apprenticeships can be leveraged.
Mirion Technologies U.K. was proud to take part in the event as we continue to support our SMR and AMR customers with several of our products and services offerings. The event proved useful to gain knowledge of the current climate in SMR/AMR programs and how we can best support current and future customers in this area.
“This event showed the confidence that SMR/AMR providers have in the U.K., the government desire to support them, as well as the great potential for making use of existing reactor and fuel manufacturing sites here,” said Patrick Chard, Mirion Technologies Principal Consultant. “The insight provided by this conference will inform Mirion’s business development as well as technology and product development.”
He continued, “The government has ambitious plans with ‘Great British Nuclear,’ established to provide a framework for the industry to advance. This is essential to provide the energy supply mix that is needed in the U.K. for current and future generations. Exciting times!”
Learn more about how Mirion supports SMR development here.