Rolls-Royce secures funding for SMR nuclear technology

Rolls-Royce announces new venture for SMR
Image credit: Rolls-Royce

Following a successful equity raise, Rolls-Royce has established its Small Modular Reactor (SMR) business aimed at scaling the next generation of low carbon nuclear power technology.

Rolls-Royce Group, energy investor BNF Resources UK Limited and Exelon Generation Limited will invest £195 million ($265 million) over a period of about three years. This funding will enable the business to secure grant funding of £210 million ($285 million) from UK Research and Innovation funding.

The business will now proceed with a range of parallel delivery activities, including entry to the UK Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process and identifying sites for the factories which will manufacture the modules.

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Discussions will continue with the UK Government on identifying the delivery models that will enable long-term investment and Rolls-Royce SMR will continue engaging with export customers who need this technology.

Warren East, Rolls-Royce CEO adds: “With the Rolls-Royce SMR technology, we have developed a clean energy solution which can deliver cost-competitive and scalable net-zero power for multiple applications from grid and industrial electricity production to hydrogen and synthetic fuel manufacturing.”

Tom Samson, CEO, Rolls-Royce SMR, added: “Rolls-Royce SMR has been established to deliver a low cost, deployable, scalable and investable programme of new nuclear power plants…

“Investors see a tremendous opportunity to decarbonise the UK through stable baseload nuclear power, in addition to fulfilling a vital export need as countries identify nuclear as an opportunity to decarbonise.”

Rolls-Royce SMR nuclear technology includes a unique factory-made module manufacturing and on-site assembly system. Nine-tenths of an individual Rolls-Royce SMR power plant will be built or assembled in factory conditions and around 80% could be delivered via the UK supply chain.

A single Rolls-Royce SMR power station will occupy the footprint of two football pitches and power approximately one million homes.

It can support both on-grid electricity and a range of off-grid clean energy solutions, enabling the decarbonisation of industrial processes and the production of clean fuels, such as sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and green hydrogen.

Ralph Hunter, Chief Operating Officer of Exelon Nuclear Partners and Vice President of Exelon Generation commented: “We believe that small modular reactors could become a crucial part of the world’s clean energy mix and we are confident that, as an operational partner, we can help develop, deploy and operate a fleet of world-class SMRs.”

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