Rolls-Royce Launches SMR Business

British industrial Rolls-Royce said this week that announced today that following an equity funding drive it had raised enough to establish the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR) business designed to "bring forward and deliver at scale the next generation of low cost, low carbon nuclear power technology."

Rolls Royce SMRRolls-Royce Group, BNF Resources UK Limited and Exelon Generation Limited will invest £195m ($261.59 million) over a period of around three years. The funding will enable the business to secure grant funding of £210m ($281.71 million) from UK Research and Innovation funding, first announced by the UK Prime Minister in ‘The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’.

The business will continue to seek further investment, but can now proceed with a range of activities, including entry to the UK Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process and identifying sites for the factories which will manufacture the small reactor modules. As a cost and time-saving strategy, small modular reactors are largely manufactured and assembled at factory locations with assembled or near-assembled components shipped to the construction site.

Nine-tenths of an individual Rolls-Royce SMR power plant will be built or assembled in factory conditions and around 80 percent could be delivered by a UK supply chain – a unique offering in energy infrastructure in the UK, the company said. Much of the venture’s investment is expected to be focused in the North of the UK, where there is significant existing nuclear expertise

A single Rolls-Royce SMR power station will occupy the footprint of two football pitches and power approximately one million homes. The technology can be used to 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, to support the energy transition in the wider heat and transportation sectors.

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