Rolls-Royce SMR has welcomed an agreement between Polish industrial group Industria and UK-based Chiltern Vital Group (CVG) to collaborate on international projects to deliver low-carbon energy projects based on Rolls-Royce SMR technology.

In 2023, following two years of collaboration with Rolls-Royce SMR, Industria (wholly owned by the Polish government as part of part of the Investment Development Agency) selected Rolls-Royce's small modular reactor (SMR) technology for the Central Hydrogen Cluster in Swietokrzyskie, Poland, as part of plans to produce 50,000 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen a year. Industria intends to deploy up to three SMRs to produce hydrogen and decarbonise regional energy infrastructure.

CVG – a leading UK multi-sector project developer – was recently confirmed as the preferred bidder for the acquisition of the Gloucester Science & Technology Park from South Gloucestershire Stroud College (SGSC). CVG intends to create a world-first net zero and nuclear technologies campus along with its partners including Western Gateway, SGSC, University of Bristol, Vital Energi and Rolls-Royce SMR. This will be the first step towards a ‘net zero super cluster’ investment zone, encouraging the roll out of Rolls-Royce SMRs alongside an array of net zero technologies.

The zone is being planned for the Berkeley nuclear site in Gloucestershire, southwest England. Berkeley was home to two gas-cooled Magnox nuclear plants of 138 MWe each that operated from 1962 to 1989. The Gloucester Science & Technology Park was set up in 2016 when the SGS Group purchased the redundant Berkeley nuclear site for £3m ($3.8m) from the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Stroud College put the site up for sale in 2023.

CVG said it is supporting Rolls-Royce in the selection of UK sites for the rollout of its SMRs, and in the creation of long-term offtake agreements to support the financial viability of their deployment.

Alan Woods, Rolls-Royce SMR’s Director of Strategy and Business Development, said: “This is an extremely positive step forward for Rolls-Royce SMR and we are delighted to see two of our close partners agree to collaborate on their efforts to bring our technology to fruition…. Both CVG and Industria are highly capable organisations, able to deliver low-carbon energy projects powered by Rolls-Royce SMRs.”

He added: “This announcement further opens the opportunity for CVG to support and enable Great British Nuclear (GBN) to deliver innovative technology by the early to mid-2030s.” After being shortlisted at the end of 2023, Rolls-Royce SMR is committed to progressing through the GBN technology selection process. The Rolls-Royce SMR design is also progressing through the Generic Design Assessment process by the UK nuclear industry’s independent regulators with a view to UK regulatory approval by mid-2024 and is two years ahead of any other SMR in European regulatory assessment.

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. 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.

Image courtesy of Rolls-Royce SMR