Rolls-Royce courts investors for mini nuclear plants. Consortium led by engine group seeks £300m in funding as it prepares application for small modular reactors. The consortium, which also includes Jacobs and Laing O’Rourke, hopes to be the first “small modular reactor” developer to put its design through the UK’s rigorous nuclear regulatory assessment. The process is expected to take up to four years but would keep the companies on track to complete their first 470MW plant by the early 2030s, which would be capable of generating enough low-carbon electricity for about 1m homes. UK prime minister Boris Johnson backed SMRs as part of his 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” last year. The technology is viewed within the government as a good way to create manufacturing jobs as well as delivering on Johnson’s “levelling up” agenda. Rolls-Royce believes at least 16 SMRs could be installed at existing and former nuclear sites in Britain and more could potentially be built at locations such as former coal mines. It estimates the programme could create as many as 40,000 jobs in the UK regions by 2050. Tom Samson, chief executive of the Rolls-Royce-led consortium, said “the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings down its cost to be comparable with offshore wind at around £50/MWh”. But Tom Burke, chair of climate change think-tank E3G, argued that SMRs could not achieve economies of scale unless developers secured a large number of orders. “How are you going to get orders for 16 of an unproven reactor type and if you don’t have orders for 16 how are you going to build a factory?” If sufficient private funding is secured, the consortium intends to set up a special purpose vehicle this summer in which Rolls-Royce is expected to retain a significant interest.
FT 17th May 2021 read more »
A consortium led by Rolls-Royce is in talks to raise £300m for the development of mini nuclear reactors it hopes can make Britain a world leader in renewable energy and power the “green industrial revolution”. The group has so far received £18m of funding from UK Research and Innovation, which was matched by industry. It now hopes to tap more than £200m earmarked for SMRs in the 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution announced in November. However, this will not be enough to get the reactors through the regulatory process, and the consortium is planning to launch a special purpose vehicle this summer to raise £300m to plug the gap. It is understood a “full scope” of potential backers from around the world are being considered, including sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors. The consortium expects it will cost more than £2bn to get to the stage where it can start constructing the first min-reactor. The first is priced at £2.2bn, but unit costs are expected to fall to £1.8bn after the first five are operational.
Telegraph 17th May 2021 read more »
Times 18th May 2021 read more »
A Rolls-Royce-led consortium has today unveiled the design of a new proposed factory-built nuclear power station, known as a small modular reactor (SMR). The facility, created by the project management firm Atkins, is designed to provide 470MW of electricity. The UKSMR group, which has confirmed it is currently working to secure a fleet of nuclear power stations built across the UK, aims for this design to be the first assessed by regulators in autumn. The first unit is expected to be complete in the early 2030s.
Energy Live News 18th May 2021 read more »
The UK Small Modular Reactor (SMR) consortium has revealed the latest design of its proposed low cost, factory-built nuclear power station. Atkins led the civil, structural and architectural design for the power station which features a refreshed faceted aesthetic roof; a surrounding earth berm integrated with the surrounding landscape; and a compact building footprint. The design is also heavily influenced by modular development and construction methods which will ensure power station components can be manufactured in a factory and assembled on site. The consortium is made up of Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rolls-Royce and TWI.
New Civil Engineer 18th May 2021 read more »
Construction Enquirer 17th May 2021 read more »
Production Engineering Solutions 17th May 2021 read more »
UK SMR to start regulatory process this autumn. The UK SMR consortium, led by Rolls-Royce, has announced the latest design and an increase in power – from 440 MW to 470 MW – of its “compact” nuclear power station. The “refreshed design” features a faceted aesthetic roof; an earth embankment surrounding the power station to integrate with the surrounding landscape; and a more compact building footprint, the British engineering company said.
World Nuclear News 17th May 2021 read more »
More power and updated design revealed as nuclear power team targets first place in the assessment queue in Autumn 2021. As the power station’s design has adjusted and improved during this latest phase – with more than 200 major engineering decisions made during this latest phase – the team has optimised the configuration, efficiency and performance criteria of the entire power station, which has increased its expected power capacity, without additional cost, from 440 megawatts (MW) to 470MW. The refreshed design features a faceted aesthetic roof; an earth embankment surrounding the power station to integrate with the surrounding landscape; and a more compact building footprint, thanks to successes optimising the use of floor space.
Rolls Royce Press Release 17th May 2021 read more »
What compact nuclear power station for Wylfa or Trawsfynydd could look like. The group also announced an increase in power generation as it completes its first phase on time and under budget. A Rolls-Royce led consortium which is creating a compact nuclear power station known as a small modular reactor (SMR), has revealed its latest design. The group also announced an increase in power as it completes its first phase on time and under budget is aiming to be the first design to be assessed by regulators in the second half of 2021. This will keep it on track to complete its first unit in the early 2030s and build up to 10 by 2035 – with sites like Trawsfynydd and Wylfa in North Wales potential locations.
Daily Post 17th May 2021 read more »
Small modular reactors won’t achieve economies of manufacturing scale, won’t be faster to construct, forego efficiency of vertical scaling, won’t be cheaper, aren’t suitable for remote or brownfield coal sites, still face very large security costs, will still be costly and slow to decommission, and still require liability insurance caps. They don’t solve any of the problems that they purport to while intentionally choosing to be less efficient than they could be. They’ve existed since the 1950s and they aren’t any better now than they were then.
Clean Technica 3rd May 2021 read more »