Construction company BAM Infra Netherlands, nuclear project company ULC-Energy and Rolls-Royce SMR have signed letters of intent to collaborate on deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) in the Netherlands. The aim is to accelerate the energy transition through serial production of standardised reactors for the Netherlands.

ULC-Energy and BAM Infra Nederland want to deploy Rolls-Royce SMRs. Rolls-Royce SMR was established in November 2021 to bring a modularised, factory-built SMR to market, capable of generating 470MW of low-carbon electricity for at least 60 years based on standard nuclear energy technology. The design has been accepted for Generic Design Assessment review in the UK with a view to UK regulatory approval by mid-2024. A Rolls-Royce-led UK SMR consortium aims to build 16 SMRs and expects to complete its first unit in the early 2030s. Rolls Royce is also discussing deployment of its SMR with the Czech Republic, Poland, and Estonia.

Sander den Blanken, Director of Commercial Business Development BAM Infra Nederland: “Together with our strategic partner, Rolls-Royce SMR, we are forging a long-term plan that contributes to the energy transition in the Netherlands. We can achieve this by developing a robust and modular solution, bringing an alternative energy source for our country one step closer. We bring innovation at a scale that minimises speed and risk through our industrial approach and, with this development, we take a significant step towards a more sustainable Netherlands.”

Dirk Rabelink, CEO of ULC-Energy said developing nuclear energy projects is a long-term process and stable, complementary and long-term partnerships are crucial for success. “To make the energy transition a success, we need all clean energy sources. With the design of the Rolls-Royce SMRs, we are building on Rolls-Royce's knowledge and experience built up over several decades in the field of producing nuclear reactors. The fully standardized SMRs are designed to meet all regulations and guidelines of the leading licensing authorities. In combination with the application of proven reactor and fuel technology, we can reduce the risks of delays and changes due to the permitting process.”

In August 2022, Rolls-Royce SMR signed an exclusive agreement with ULC-Energy to collaborate on the deployment of Rolls-Royce SMRs in the Netherlands. In September 2022, ULC-Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with US utility Constellation – a minority shareholder in Rolls-Royce SMR Limited – to support the deployment of a fleet of Rolls-Royce SMRs in the Netherlands.

Earlier in November, ULC-Energy and Rolls-Royce SMR signed an agreement with Denmark's Topsoe to jointly investigate the production of hydrogen using Topsoe's Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell technology using electricity and heat produced by a Rolls-Royce SMR.

Rich Everett, group head of supply chain for Rolls-Royce SMR, said: "We are delighted to explore opportunities for collaboration with BAM Infra Nederland, which builds on the successful partnership that we have developed with BAM Nutall in the UK – which is also part of the BAM Group."

Image: From left – Rich Everett (Rolls-Royce SMR), Bas Suijs (ULC-Energy), Sophie Macfarlane-Smith (Rolls-Royce SMR), Joanna Roper (HM Ambassador to the Netherlands), Carla Rodenburg (BAM Infra), Dirk Rabelink (ULC-Energy) and Sander Den Blanken (BAM Infra) after the signing ceremony at the British Embassy in The Hague (courtesy of Rolls-Royce SMR)