Rolls-Royce relies on mini nuclear reactors
The British industrial group presents new designs for the construction of small nuclear plants. Interest is also growing internationally.
NAfter years of preparation, Rolls-Royce is taking the next step on the road to building mini-nuclear reactors. Since 2015 the British industrial group has been developing “Small Modular Reactors” (SMR), which are being researched in numerous countries around the world. Rolls-Royce has now presented new designs with a consortium. They have increased the capacity of the SMR systems from 440 to 470 megawatts of power without increasing costs. This corresponds to about a third of the output of conventional large power plants. Rolls-Royce intends to submit the plans to the relevant state supervisory authority in the second half of the year, which must be approved. According to the industrial group, the first systems could be completed and connected to the grid at the beginning of the next decade.
Rolls-Royce is planning ten small nuclear power plants on the island by 2035. Little by little, modern small power plants could be built at all sixteen current or previous nuclear sites in Great Britain. “Nuclear energy is central to tackling the problem of climate change,” advertises Tom Samson, CEO of the UK SMR consortium. In addition to Rolls-Royce, it includes other industrial companies such as Jacobs, the construction groups BAM Nuttall and Laing O’Rourke, as well as the state-run National Nuclear Laboratory and other research institutions. They are convinced that the new technology is safer and cheaper than previous nuclear facilities. And nuclear power is reliable. It does not fluctuate like electricity generated from renewable energies such as wind and solar.