Rolls-Royce restricts search for the site of the first factory of SMR: New Nuclear


July 04, 2022

Rolls-Royce SMR has shortlisted six potential sites in the UK for the first of three manufacturing plants for its small modular reactor (SMR) power stations. The first plant will produce the 470 MWe pressurized water reactor vessels.

A rendering of a factory based on the Rolls-Royce SMR (Image: Rolls-Royce SMR)

The company said the shortlist was selected based on a clear set of criteria, chosen from more than 100 submissions from local business partnerships and development agencies – suggesting sites across the UK where Rolls-Royce SMR factories could be located.

The final sites shortlisted for the first factory are: Sunderland in Tyne and Wear, Richmond in North Yorkshire, Deeside in Wales, Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, Stallingborough in Lincolnshire and Carlisle in Cumbria.

Rolls-Royce SMR noted that the first plant will be the largest and most complex facility of the three. “Therefore, it is important to make decisions early to enable its deployment,” he said. “Construction will begin once Rolls-Royce SMR is given the green light to build a fleet of SMRs in the UK.”

“I would like to thank everyone who submitted a submission suggesting locations in their area for the first Rolls-Royce SMR plant,” said Rolls-Royce SMR CEO Tom Samson. “The response has been fantastic and shows the UK’s ambition and appetite to build and operate a fleet of SMRs that will provide affordable, low-carbon electricity for generations to come.

“The final location will come from the shortlist and will drive significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and support the UK government’s aspirations to level up. Today’s announcement is another example of the pace of our project and why Rolls-Royce SMR is the national champion of nuclear power in the UK.”

The other two factories will manufacture civil modules and mechanical, electrical and plumbing modules – which will be transported to the sites and assembled in a nuclear power plant.

“These sites will be selected from the full list of applications, giving all sites further opportunities to host a Rolls-Royce SMR plant,” the company noted.

The Rolls-Royce SMR design was accepted for Generic Design Assessment review in March, with the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy asking the Office for Nuclear Regulation as well as regulators England and Wales to begin the process.

A British SMR consortium led by Rolls-Royce aims to build 16 SMRs. The consortium – which includes Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, the National Nuclear Laboratory, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Center and TWI – aims to complete its first unit in the early 2030s and build up to to 10 by 2035.

To minimize the construction phase of the program, the UK SMR is fully modularized with the reactor, approximately 16 meters by 4 meters, transportable by road, rail or sea. Targeting a 500-day modular build, the consortium says that this concept minimizes the on-site time and effort required to build and construct the plant.

According to Rolls-Royce SMR, approximately 90% of manufacturing and assembly activities will be carried out under factory conditions, which will help maintain a very high quality product, reduce on-site disruption and support international deployment. .

Research and writing by World Nuclear News


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