Rolls-Royce unveils six potential sites in the UK for nuclear reactors to power millions of homes | Science | New

As part of its efforts to end the global fossil fuel crisis, the UK has invested in the development of radical new technologies that could one day cut bills and make the UK energy self-sufficient. One such project involves Rolls-Royce’s Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), which are expected to be built much faster and more cheaply than conventional nuclear reactors. The government plans to build 16 over the next 25 years, which could help the UK reach its net zero target by 2050.

At 470 MW, the Rolls-Royce reactors are much larger than other SMRs capped at 300 MW, but much smaller than the 3,260 MW that Hinkley Point C, a conventional nuclear reactor, is expected to generate.

According to Rolls Royce, each of these reactors produces enough energy to power a million homes, or a city the size of Leeds.

They will be built in a factory production line and assembled at existing sites.

Today the company unveiled six potential factory sites, namely: Richmond in North Yorkshire, Deeside in Wales, Ferrybridge, Stallingborough in Lincolnshire, Sunderland and Carlisle.

Two other factories would then follow.

Earlier this year, the engineering giant announced a competition, asking development organizations to bid for the initial construction site for the small modular reactors (SMRs), pledging an investment of around £200m as well as the creation of more than 200 skilled jobs.

Rolls-Royce SMR Managing Director Tom Samson said: “I would like to thank everyone who submitted a submission suggesting locations in their area for the first Rolls-Royce SMR plant.

“The response has been fantastic and shows the UK’s ambition and appetite to build and operate a fleet of SMRs that will provide affordable, low-carbon electricity for generations to come.

“The final location will come from the shortlist and will result in significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and support the UK government’s aspirations to level up.

READ MORE: Rolls-Royce’s ‘one-of-a-kind’ reactors will each power a million homes

“Today’s announcement is another example of the pace of our project and why Rolls-Royce SMR is the UK’s National Nuclear Power Champion.”

At an expected cost of around £2billion for each reactor, Rolls Royce’s SMRs are expected to cost far less than the £25billion it is currently devoted to the construction of the next Hinkley Point C.

While other SMRs are in development around the world, Rolls-Royce believes its broader design and experience sets the company apart from others.

Speaking to, Dan Gould, Head of Communications at Rolls-Royce SMR, previously said: “The design of the Rolls-Royce SMR nuclear power plant is based on the well-established and understood technology of nuclear reactors. pressurized water (PWR) – currently there are hundreds of such reactors in operation worldwide (Sizewell B in Suffolk and the Hinkley Point C power station currently under construction are both PWR reactors).

“We have extensive knowledge and experience in the design and manufacture of nuclear reactor technology through six decades of experience with the UK submarine fleet – no other SMR company in the world today has a such depth of experience in the design, manufacture or technology of nuclear reactors.”