The UKSMR consortium led by Rolls-Royce said on 15 March that it had joined European nuclear trade association Foratom, “as it develops its global reach and eyes a vibrant export market”. The UKSMR consortium is designing a low-cost factory built small modular reactor (SMR).
Tom Samson, UKSMR interim CEO, said: “Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change, economic recovery and energy security. To do this it must be affordable, reliable and investable and the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings its cost down to be comparable with offshore wind. It also stimulates jobs and growth and with the flexibility to power alternative low carbon fuels manufacturing, as well as providing grid power, it is the best option for underpinning decarbonisation strategies around the world. He added: “It’s a compelling proposition that has a clear role to play in tackling climate change and to achieve that it’s important we collaborate with highly experienced nuclear industry partners across Europe to accelerate the deployment of the SMR to achieve net zero ambitions.”
FORATOM Director General Yves Desbazeille, noted: “The topic of SMRs is gaining momentum in the European Union as there are ongoing discussions on how this technology could fit into Europe’s future energy mix. Therefore, we are happy to be able to benefit from the expertise of the UKSMR consortium and its experts in this field in order to ensure that the potential of SMRs is fully recognised by EU decision makers.”
The UKSMR consortium members include Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rolls-Royce and TWI. The current phase of the programme has been jointly funded by all consortium members and UK Research and Innovation.
The consortium is working with its partners and UK Government to secure a commitment for a fleet of factory built nuclear power stations, each providing at least 470MW of electricity, to be operational within a decade, helping governments around the world achieve their net zero obligations.