Over the next six weeks a team from Rolls-Royce SMR will visit locations to gather more information that will assist with a further 'down-select' of the first factory to manufacture components for its small modular reactor (SMR) power station. 

In July the company announced six potential locations for the factory, shortlisted from more than 100 submissions from local enterprise partnerships and development agencies. They were: Sunderland in Tyne and Wear, Richmond in North Yorkshire, Deeside in Wales, Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, Stallingborough in Lincolnshire and Carlisle in Cumbria. David White, newly appointed Chief Operating Officer of Rolls-Royce SMR, said another two locations – Shotton in Deeside (Wales) and Teesworks in Redcar (North East) – had been added to the list.

White will oversee the work to construct the factories required to deploy a fleet of SMRs, each capable of generating 470MWe of electricity. “I’d like to thank the Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Welsh Government and the owners of the shortlisted sites for their continued support and cooperation,” he noted.

“The overwhelmingly positive response, resulting in more potential sites than we might have hoped for, means we have more information to assess but is vitally important in helping us select the right locations for our factory.” 

Rolls-Royce SMR said its approach is a radically different way of deploying nuclear power stations with 90% of the components being manufactured in a factory environment. The Rolls-Royce SMR is fully modularised. The reactor, about 16 metres by 4 metres can be transported by road, rail or sea. Rolls Royce SMR is aiming for a 500-day modular build. “A factory for the Rolls-Royce SMR programme will bring significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and sustainable economic growth for the area,” the company noted.

The Rolls-Royce SMR design was accepted for Generic Design Assessment review in March by the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation along with the environment regulators for England and Wales.

Image: Artist's impression of a Rolls-Royce SMR (courtesy of Rolls-Royce SMR)