Rolls Royce plans 16 mini-nuclear plants

Aaron Morby 11 months ago
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A consortium led by Rolls Royce has detailed plans to build up to 16 mini-nuclear plants in the UK.

Each compact nuclear power station will provide 440MW of electricity, enough low carbon power for a city of 450,000 homes for 60 years
Each compact nuclear power station will provide 440MW of electricity, enough low carbon power for a city of 450,000 homes for 60 years

The SMR consortium, which includes BAM and Laing O’Rourke, estimates that if Government backs the plan it would create 6,000 regional jobs within the next five years alone.

The Government is understood to be preparing to commit £200m to the consortium as part of its forthcoming green economic recovery spending plan.

SMR consortium


Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rolls-Royce and TWI.

The mini nuclear power stations will help secure the UK’s net zero commitments affordably, said Rolls Royce.  It would also revitalise the country’s regional industrial base and position the UK to secure exports of at least £250bn.

The engineering giant said that up to 80% of the power station components would be made in factories in the Midlands and North of England, before being transported to existing nuclear sites around the country for rapid assembly inside weatherproof canopies.

Ultimately, SMR plans to build the fleet of 16 small modular reactor (SMR) power stations over the next 20 years.

As well as a further 34,000 long-term jobs by the mid-2030s, mostly high-value manufacturing roles, the power stations will also provide low carbon energy to produce net zero synthetic aviation fuels and hydrogen, supporting the UK Government’s Jet Zero ambition and the wider decarbonisation of transport.

Tom Samson, interim Chief Executive Officer of the UK SMR Consortium, said: “We have developed a manufacturing and assembly process that will make reliable, low carbon nuclear power affordable, deliverable and investable.

“By creating a factory-built power station that rolls off the assembly line we have radically reduced many construction risks associated with new nuclear power stations; and by using proven nuclear technology alongside standardised and simplified components, we make it much more cheaply.

“Our consortium combines decades of nuclear experience and pioneering world-class manufacturing expertise. We represent the strength that UK industry has to offer in our fight against climate change.”

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