Rolls-Royce Narrows Down Choices For SMR Factory

With the aim of fast, safe, economic, scaled production, British industrial giant Rolls-Royce this week announced it had arrived at a shortlist of locations for the first of three small modular reactor factories it will need to produce its 470MWe power units.

Rolls-Royce SMR modelThere were over 100 applicants vying for the opportunity to host the future factories and all of the applicants remain on the list for the next two sites required. The first of the three factory locations is categorically separate as it will be the largest of the three. It will produce the “heavy vessels” for the SMR reactors. It’s location is, therefore, key to unit completion, given the need to coordinate transportation of components to the final destination. The other factories will produce electrical, plumbing and mechanical modules for the SMR units that are currently under regulatory assessment.

Rolls-Royce said it would wait until regulatory approval is granted before beginning construction of the factories. The shortlist for the first of these includes North East, Richmond in North Yorkshire, Deeside in Wales, Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Carlisle, according to Nuclear Engineering International.

Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Tom Samson said the factory would “result in significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and will support the UK Government’s aspirations for levelling up.”

The Rolls-Royce SMR design was submitted for a Generic Design Assessment examination in March and is expected to be approved for construction sometime in 2024.

An industrial and research consortium has already signed on for construction of 16 Rolls Royce SMR units. That consortium includes the National Nuclear Laboratory, Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttal, Jacobs Engineering, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Center and TWI. The current goal is to have 10 units on line by 2035 with the first up and running in the early 2030s.


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