Vulcan research could play role in UK small nuclear reactor project involving Rolls-Royce


Rolls-Royce believes that a UK small modular reactor program has the potential to deliver energy security, jobs, sustainable value, a strong supply chain, exports and low-carbon technology.

A Rolls-Royce-led consortium is seeking funding of £ 300million as it prepares to apply for the construction of small modular nuclear reactors.

The design is believed to have benefited from experience gained in the manufacture and operation of pressurized water reactors tested over the years at Vulcan, Dounreay.

Asked to comment on the local site, a Rolls-Royce spokesperson said: “Rolls-Royce has decades of experience in the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of small nuclear reactors and is the only company in the UK with this end to end. aptitude.

“While there is clearly a capacity advantage, the compact plant has a different engine design, separate from the one used in the defense propulsion part of the company; however, we continue to assess all resources available to Rolls-Royce and will commit at the right time if necessary.

The latest design for the compact nuclear power plant was revealed earlier in May, with the first phase of the project being completed on time and under budget.

The consortium behind the UK Small Modular Reactor (SMR) project has also announced its intention to be the first design to be assessed by regulators in the second half of 2021 in the newly open assessment window, which will keep it going. on the right track. its first unit in the early 2030s and build up to 10 reactors by 2035.

As the design of the plant adjusted and improved during this final phase – with over 200 major technical decisions made – the team optimized the expected electrical capacity, at no additional cost, from 440 megawatts (MW) to 470 MW.

The envisioned technology can produce nuclear power in new ways anywhere in the world, solving the puzzle of creating affordable energy, and more, with a smaller carbon footprint.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed SMRs as part of his 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution” last year.

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