UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has provided initial match funding to the consortium of companies designing a new type of nuclear power station in the UK. Rolls-Royce and its partners have said a UK small modular reactor (SMR) programme could contribute GBP100 billion (USD128 billion) to the UK economy and open up a global export market.A rendering of a plant based on Rolls-Royce's SMR (Image: Rolls-Royce)
The consortium comprises Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Laing O¡¯Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear AMRC, Rolls-Royce, Wood and The Welding Institute.
Rolls-Royce said the initial joint investment of GBP18million from UKRI has been been "confirmed and contracted" and will be matched by nuclear, civil engineering construction and manufacturing industry firms, which have been working on the preliminary design for four years.
Paul Stein, chief technology officer for Rolls-Royce, said: "The consortium's work with the government shows that action is being taken to decarbonise our economy and meet our society¡¯s vital and growing power needs. This is a very positive step forward to this next phase of the programme."
The target cost for each station is GBP1.8 billion by the time five have been built, with further savings possible, Rolls-Royce said. Each power station will be able to operate for 60 years and provide 440 megawatts of electricity.
The shared initial investment will be used to progress the significant opportunities presented by the programme; prepare it for the UK's regulatory Generic Design Assessment process; and make final decisions on which innovations to pursue.
The government¡¯s intention to support the programme was announced in July.
UKRI says that an initial GBP36 million joint public and private investment, with GBP18 million of the investment from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, will enable the consortium to further develop their design.