Evaluation of the UK Nuclear Innovation Programme

Nuclear power plant and cooling towers, photo by Daniel Prudek/Adobe Stock

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What is the issue?

The £180m Nuclear Innovation Programme (NIP) set out to further the UK’s civil nuclear energy objectives by delivering a nuclear Research & Development (R&D) programme to reinvigorate the capability, capacity, and credibility of the UK’s nuclear R&D landscape, and explore the potential for innovation to reduce the cost nuclear technologies. It ran from 2016–2022 with funding from the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and was designed to align with recommendations made by the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board. More information can be found in the programme brochure (PDF).

How are we helping?

RAND Europe is leading a consortium with Cornwall Insight, Profs Juan Matthews (Manchester) and Andrew Stirling (Sussex) to conduct an evaluation of the NIP, commissioned by BEIS. We will assess whether the programme has delivered on its intended outputs, how its achievements compare with expectations, and the barriers encountered by the programme in pursuit of its objectives.

The evaluation will investigate the NIP's governance, management, and operational processes and develop an evaluation plan and baseline for the Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) programme. The evaluation is expected to be completed by August 2023.