Lean Methods in Nuclear Power


The future of nuclear power lies in finding ways of designing and building power stations that are faster, cheaper and more predictable than the present arrangements. We need smarter competitions between suppliers that will encourage them to develop standard designs made up of modular components that are delivered using modern production systems.

Nuclear power is returning to the energy agenda in Europe and elsewhere because of the challenges of Climate Change and a refreshed understanding of the need for energy security. Nuclear power has a cost problem which is largely driven by the high cost of construction and long build schedules.

This paper addresses the key ways of making nuclear power affordable by: taking a programme approach, adopting modern production methods that are commonplace elsewhere but not applied in the nuclear industry and by creating production systems that profit from series build as against one-off projects and drive efficiency throughout the supply chain.

It has been shown that by applying these ideas to small modular reactors they can quickly become competitive with current large reactors and with increasing volume become competitive with renewable energy.

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Tony Roulstone

University of Cambridge

Tony Roulstone established and teaches on the Nuclear Energy Masters programme in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. His research interests are the economics and safety of nuclear power with a focus on Small Modular Reactors. He is leading several SMR research projects in the UK. Also, he is involved with projects on the industrialisation and the economics of fusion and the design of energy systems for net-zero in 2050.

Simon Murray

Director, SA Murray Ltd.

Simon is a civil engineer specializing in infrastructure development. He has been a senior manager in the aviation and railway industries and the client for several large projects including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. He has a particular interest in modern methods of construction and in improving the industry’s performance. Simon is a founder member of acumen7.