Rolls-Royce plans 16 mini nuclear plants in the UK

Rolls-Royce has announced plans to build a fleet of 16 small modular reactor power stations (SMR) over the next 20 years. The power stations will help secure the UK’s net zero commitments affordably, says the company.

The power stations will create thousands of jobs and 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, says the company in a statement.

Tom Samson, interim Chief Executive Officer of the UK SMR Consortium, said: “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.”

The UK SMR consortium is comprised of Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rolls-Royce and TWI.

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 first unit will be operational within 10 years of the first order, with the factories able to produce two units per year thereafter.

With a defined path forward in the UK, the prospects for global exports are enormous and the unique features of UK SMRs make them attractive low cost, deliverable and investable solutions in many countries looking to decarbonize their economies. The total export potential by 2050 for the UK is expected to be at least £250 billion and possibly leading to further UK jobs.

Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce

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