The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has provided initial match funding of £18m for a Rolls-Royce-led consortium to develop a Small Modular Reactor designed and manufactured in the UK
The consortium, which comprises Assystem, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Rolls-Royce, Atkins, Wood, The Welding Institute and Nuclear AMRC, has been working on a design for the plants for four years. The Small Modular Reactor (SMR) will be capable of producing cost-effective low carbon electricity and creating significant export opportunities for UK businesses.
An initial £36m joint public and private investment has already been made to the development programme and will enable the government to reach it’s 2050 net zero-carbon target with 16 power stations planned by this date.
The components for the power station will be manufactured in sections in regional UK factories before being transported to existing nuclear sites for rapid assembly inside a weatherproof canopy. This will reduce costs by avoiding weather disruptions and secures gradual efficiency savings by using streamlined and standardised manufacturing processes for its components.
Laing O’Rourke’s partnership and innovation leader, Adam Locke, said: “This is a great milestone to achieve after many years of collaboration; building on previous award-winning research into applying DfMA to nuclear, combined with our experience at Hinkley, and manufacturing capability positions us uniquely to help achieve this goal of low-cost nuclear power.
“We look forward to working with our partners to develop our approach to the next stage.”