The coastal town of Workington in northwestern England is set to make its mark in the field of new-generation nuclear technology as a local company is set to make it the venue for the construction of a small modular reactor (SMR.)
Cumbrian firm TSP Engineering, a part of the GMET Group of Companies, announced that it hopes to become a leader in the global nuclear sector through the construction of NuCell, GMET’s nuclear SMR. TSP Engineering executives expressed hope that they could complete their first reactor by 2027.
The NuCell has been described as a reactor that, while small enough to easily fit into a standard two-story house, can power a small- to the mid-sized city in a clean and cost-efficient manner. The construction of the reactor is also expected to infuse several million pounds into the local economy.
Bringing it Back to Cumbria
According to TSP Engineering CEO John Coughlan, the construction of the NuCell SMR effectively brings the business of building nuclear reactors back to Cumbria, a region that played a vital role in the United Kingdom’s initial involvement in the nuclear power sector.
In doing so, his firm also makes the UK a center for the development and production of new-generation nuclear technologies that are in line with the government’s thrust to make the country a hub for innovative development.
Coughlan added that the NuCell SMR will also be a step towards national self-reliance in terms of its energy supply.
Workington’s local government sees the development as a positive one with good implications for the local economy. The impending construction of the NuCell is expected to boost both the region’s skill base and generate relevant employment for its residents.
A Welcome Development for the Local Community
For his part, Workington minister of parliament (MP) Mark Jenkinson sees the selection of Workington as TSP Engineering’s site for manufacturing the NuCell as a boon for his constituency, citing how the town has a strong supply chain for the nuclear sector.
Jenkinson explained that the British nuclear power sector first took root within the region and he finds it advantageous that TSP Engineering opted to bring its facility into the area. He sees it as a way of building upon the region’s strengths, thus paving the way for it to become a leader in industrial innovation.
He added that Workington would not be the only beneficiary when it came to generating employment and income, but the engineering sector in West Cumbria also stood to benefit from the support.