Rolls-Royce bosses said Copeland was the place to be for the first small modular nuclear reactors
Copeland MP Trudy Harrison and colleagues have made a compelling case for the Borough to be the location of the UK’s first Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
Yesterday Ms Harrison chaired a key officials meeting in Whitehaven where the shared vision and rationale for hosting SMRs in Copeland was presented to officials from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. (BEIS).
Managing Director Tom Samson and Directors Alan Woods and Alastair Evans of Proposed Reactor Developers Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd joined the MP; David Peattie and Martin Chown, CEOs of NDA and Sellafield Ltd respectively; and Pat Graham and Councilor David Moore, Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Mayor of Copeland City Council.
The meeting learned that Copeland has the local expertise and skills required to manufacture and operate the reactors, as well as a knowledgeable and supportive local council and community.
Led by Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd and with government support, the first phase of SMR development has been completed – including design and cost assessments – with the next stage of the regulator’s application for approval starting soon.
Ms Harrison said, “I am committed to ensuring a strong nuclear future at Copeland, and bringing SMRs to Copeland is the highest achievable priority for the nuclear industry.
“SMRs will provide clean, low-carbon and affordable energy and will play an important role in the government’s Net Zero ambitions for 2024.
“This community knows more about nuclear energy than anywhere else in Europe. We have a talent pool with experience in security and delivering projects of national significance, and I am pushing hard for Copeland to be at the forefront of this new and exciting approach to nuclear. “
The meeting took place on 65e anniversary of the day Calder Hall – the world’s first nuclear power plant – was connected to the grid.
Ms Harrison said: “I am proud to be the Member of Parliament representing the constituency where the world’s first civilian nuclear power plant was connected to the grid and the benefits the industry has brought to our workers and communities have been felt. since – and will be a long time in the future.