Small-scale nuclear projects could deliver electricity to Britain for a similar cost as offshore wind, Rolls-Royce said on Tuesday, providing another potential option for a country struggling to get big nuclear projects off the ground. Britain needs to invest in new capacity to replace ageing coal and nuclear plants that are due to close in the 2020s, but the costs involved have seen large nuclear projects delayed or run into trouble. Rolls-Royce, known best for making plane engines, said on Tuesday the small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) being developed by its consortium could deliver power at 60 pounds/MWh. SMRs use existing or new nuclear technology scaled down to a fraction of the size of larger plants and would be able to produce around a tenth of the electricity created by large-scale projects. The mini plants, still under development, would be made in factories, with parts small enough to be transported on trucks and barges where they could be assembled much more quickly than their large-scale counterparts. Rolls-Royce said the bulk of the components for its plants could be built in Britain and open up a potential 400 billion pound global export market.
Reuters 12th Sept 2017 read more »