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UK Governments Commits £18 Million to Rolls-Royce led Nuclear SMR Consortium

24 Jul 2019

A UK consortium led by Rolls-Royce will receive an initial investment of £18 million from the government to advance its nuclear-powered small modular reactor (SMR) programme.

Developing the power plant, a world-first, will be part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and is projected to eventually contribute £100 billion to the economy thanks to the global export market opportunities created.

The consortium includes Rolls-Royce, Wood, Atkins, Arup, Laing O’Rourke, BAM Nuttall, Siemens, Assystem, Nuclear AMRC and National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL).

Image: Rolls-Royce

What is an SMR?

Nuclear SMRs (small modular reactors) are designed to be smaller nuclear reactors with much lower power outputs than giants such as the currently under construction Hinkley Point C. Their parts can be mass produced in factories then transported and assembled on site, slashing the overall cost of construction.

The UK government had previously challenged several groups to come up with an SMR design to focus attention and funding on, before selecting the Rolls-Royce design.

SMRs are seen as part of the country’s commitment to reach zero carbon by 2050, alongside traditional full-size new nuclear builds.

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