UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce and giant US private-sector electricity utility Exelon have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding the development and operation of small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plants (NPPs). Rolls-Royce is leading a consortium, supported by both industry and the British government, to develop an SMR NPP (being referred to as the UKSMR). Exelon currently operates 21 conventional (pressurised water) nuclear reactors in the US which together have a capacity of 19 600 MW.
“Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change and economic recovery, but it must be affordable, reliable and investable and the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings its costs down to be comparable to offshore wind,” highlighted Samson. “It’s a compelling proposition that could draw new players into the UK’s power generation landscape, improving choice for consumers and providing uninterrupted low carbon energy to homes and businesses.”
Rolls-Royce expects that the first UKSMR will be operational within ten years. The deployment of a fleet of such NPPs would allow the establishment of new factories to produce their modular components. The other members of the UKSMR consortium are Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and TWI.
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