Power plan

Rolls-Royce raises funds for mini nuclear reactors

Rolls-Royce small modular reactor

Proposed nuclear reactor

Rolls-Royce has confirmed that it has raised funds to develop a series of low cost, low carbon nuclear power generation plants.

The initiative is seen as a significant attempt to meet the anticipated surge in demand for clean energy.

A ‘small modular reactor’ will be the same size as two football pitches and can power approximately one million homes.

Rolls-Royce Group, BNF Resources UK and Exelon Generation will invest £195m across a period of around three years.

The funding will enable the business to secure grant funding of £210 million from UK Research and Innovation funding, first announced by the UK Prime Minister in ‘The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’.

Today’s announcement is another step towards the delivery of the Government’s net zero strategy and its 10-point plan, said Rolls-Royce.

The business, which will continue to seek further investment, will identify sites for the factories which will manufacture the modules that enable on-site assembly of the power plants.

Nine-tenths of a Rolls-Royce SMR power plant will be built or assembled in factory conditions and around 80% could be delivered by a UK supply chain – a unique offering in energy infrastructure in the UK.

Much of the venture’s investment is expected to be focused in the North of the UK, where there is significant existing nuclear expertise, though the project could face a frosty reception in Scotland where the SNP government is opposed to nuclear power generation.

Discussions will also continue with the UK Government on identifying the delivery models that will enable long-term investment in this vital, net-zero enabling technology. Rolls-Royce SMR is engaging with export customers across many continents who need this technology to meet their own net zero commitments.

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