The UKSMR consortium led by Rolls-Royce has joined European nuclear industry group FORATOM, as it develops its global reach and eyes a vibrant export market.
The UKSMR consortium is designing a low-cost factory built nuclear power station, known as a small modular reactor (SMR). Its standardised, factory-made components and advanced manufacturing processes push costs down, while the rapid assembly of the modules and components inside a weatherproof canopy on the power station site itself avoids costly schedule disruptions.
Tom Samson, interim Chief Executive Officer of the UKSMR consortium, said: “Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change, economic recovery and energy security. To do this it must be affordable, reliable and investable and the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings its cost down to be comparable with offshore wind. It also stimulates jobs and growth and with the flexibility to power alternative low carbon fuels manufacturing, as well as providing grid power, it is the best option for underpinning decarbonisation strategies around the world.
“It’s a compelling proposition that has a clear role to play in tackling climate change and to achieve that it’s important we collaborate with highly experienced nuclear industry partners across Europe to accelerate the deployment of the SMR to achieve net zero ambitions.”
FORATOM Director General Yves Desbazeille, said: “We are delighted to have the UKSMR consortium joining our efforts to promote the interests of the nuclear sector at EU level. The topic of SMRs is gaining momentum in the European Union as there are ongoing discussions on how this technology could fit into Europe’s future energy mix. Therefore, we are happy to be able to benefit from the expertise of the UKSMR consortium and its experts in this field in order to ensure that the potential of SMRs is fully recognised by EU decision makers.”
The UKSMR consortium members feature the best of nuclear engineering, construction and infrastructure expertise in Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rolls-Royce and TWI. The current phase of the programme has been jointly funded by all consortium members and UK Research and Innovation.
The consortium is working with its partners and UK Government to secure a commitment for a fleet of factory built nuclear power stations, each providing at least 470MW of electricity, to be operational within a decade, helping governments around the world achieve their net zero obligations.
The membership agreement with FORATOM comes just a fortnite after a memorandum of understanding was signed with Estonia’s Fermi Energia to study the potential for the deployment of UKSMRs, in Estonia.