Making UK Nuclear Power Competitive

After Tony Roulstone presented to us last year, a group of acumen7 members got together with him with the objective of promoting and supporting the case for small nuclear reactors, a key element of the UK sustainable provision to enable us to meet our Net Zero carbon targets by 2040.

The Focus Group comprising Tony, Peter DixonRobert Osborne and Simon Murray have met several times and at our first monthly meeting of 2023, they shared the results of their deliberations in terms of formulating a cohesive approach to developing programmes of development for both SMRs and large reactors to standard designs.

The presentation and subsequent discussions demonstrated the depth and strength of our network in one of our key focus areas.

Thanks go to the Focus Group for their work so far (and the work that’s to come), and to all of our members who attended the session.

Advanced nuclear for Net Zero

acumen7 were treated to another fascinating presentation from the University of Cambridge’s Tony Roulstone. Tony gave an overview of advanced nuclear – fusion and fission – and how they might play into net zero by 2050. The UK has been at the forefront of both, but things are different now, with both the UK and others around the world looking again at the possibilities of vastly increased energy from nuclear. An interesting development is the importance of private equity – three of the five projects described are privately funded, which was unheard of in fusion until now. 

For more information on the University of Cambridge’s Nuclear Energy Centre, visit:

A credible alternative to Europe’s energy needs

acumen7 were treated to an enlightening presentation by Serge Colle on the benefits of Thorium Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) – a clean, safe energy alternative. Thorium is a readily available metal that is put aside when mining other metals. A small ball of Thorium that would fit in your hand can supply all of the energy you need for your whole life if it is put into a Thorium reactor. Another positive is that MSRs use plutonium waste from the nuclear industry, leaving smaller amounts each time, which is an environmentally friendly and safe way of recycling nuclear waste.

You can find out more about Thorium at:

The case for smaller nuclear reactors

The first of July’s stimulating virtual acumen7 sessions was led by Tony Roulstone, Course Director for Nuclear Energy, University of Cambridge. Tony presented the case for smaller nuclear reactors which have the advantages of lower costs, faster speed of build and that could be privately funded. The capital and energy costs, as well as the build time can all be reduced by utilising offsite modularisation, as proven in other industries. Part of the discussion was around how to change the negative perceptions of nuclear. The session also touched on what nuclear energy brings to the carbon neutral agenda, which will be explored in greater depth by the network later this year.