A plan to convert coal-fired power plants to advanced nuclear—efficiently

Bryden Wood has revealed plans to repurpose the world’s coal-fired power stations to house modular nuclear reactors as part of a ‘major initiative’ to decarbonize the energy sector. “Repurposing Coal” is a proposal drawn up in collaboration with Terra Praxis, a non-profit organization focused on action for climate and energy, along with experts from MIT, the University at Buffalo, Microsoft and KPMG.

Unveiled at COP26 in Glasgow, the strategy sets out how coal-fired boilers at existing power plants could be replaced with Advanced Heat Sources (Generation IV Advanced Modular Reactors) to deliver a substantial portion of the clean electricity required to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to do so eliminating the emissions that have come from coal power, which amount to almost 45% of the global annual emissions.

The collaboration is focused on creating a platform solution that enables plant conversions at scale by “transforming how projects of this kinds are financed, designed, approved and delivered.”

Bryden Wood founder Martin Wood said: ‘Instead of thousands of individual projects, we must have a unified approach where the design is simplified and standardised so that a much wider pool of designers, manufacturers and contractors can be involved to make this a reality as quickly as possible.’

To achieve this approach, the group has sought to standardize and optimize the following key elements:

    • All processes including procurement, investment and environmental approvals
    • Building and engineering systems
    • Design, manufacture, assembly and operation
    • Interactions between different supply chain organizations.

Read more about this plan at Architects Journal Bryden Wood Reveals Plan to convert coal-fired power stations to nuclear, by Richard Waite, published November 5, 2021.