Fri, 20 November, 2020
TWI is working as part of the Rolls Royce led UKSMR consortium to develop domestic small modular nuclear reactors, also known as SMRs.
The consortium has applauded the recent announcement by the UK government to push forward a 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution. This plan includes a role for small modular reactors as part of a low carbon energy future for the UK. Government support has included a commitment of £215m of grant funding (subject to final approval) for the UKSMR power station programme.
The UKSMR consortium’s interim Chief Executive Officer, Tom Samson spoke on the plans, saying, “Our consortium is excited by the Government’s ambition and delighted that there is further investment from UK Research and Innovation in our power station programme, which is essential to economic recovery and combating climate change. Now the UK SMR consortium will secure up to £300m of private investment. The announcement reflects the UK Government’s confidence in our compelling business case and the strength and capabilities embedded within our team.”
Tom Samson continued, “Today starts an exciting new chapter of working between Government and industry to unlock the levelling up and low cost energy benefits of our design, which is a UK solution to a UK challenge. We will continue our current work and then move seamlessly into our next phase in May 2021, beyond which we can begin creating 40,000 high quality jobs, £52bn of value to the UK economy, and targeting the £250bn in exports.”
He added, “From today’s announcement we are clearly an important part of the Government’s commitment to meet its net zero carbon 2050 target through nuclear energy, including the role of our power station in powering the production of hydrogen and synthetic aviation fuels.”
The next phase of the UKSMR programme begins in May 2021, lasting for four years. The future milestones for the programme include:
- Joint venture: Launching a new company and raising an additional £300m in new capital to deliver a fully engineered solution with regulatory approval
- Factories: Identifying and developing sites for new factories to make the components and modules for power stations
- Jobs: Initial growth to more than 800 people to deliver the next phase of the programme
- Acceleration: Continuing to pursue commitments to accelerate the programme to deliver a target of 6,000 jobs by 2025
- Customers: The announcement of new partnerships and customers in the UK and overseas
The members of the consortium, alongside TWI, include Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, and Rolls-Royce.