Rolls-Royce and Exelon Generation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue the potential for Exelon Generation to operate compact nuclear power stations both in the UK and internationally. Exelon Generation will be assisting Rolls Royce in the development and deployment of the UKSMR.
Rolls-Royce is leading a consortium that is designing a low-cost factory built nuclear power station, known as a small modular reactor (SMR). Its standardised, factory-made components and advanced manufacturing processes are expected to push costs down, while the rapid assembly of the modules and components inside a weatherproof canopy on the power station site itself avoid costly schedule disruptions.
The consortium is working with its partners and UK government to secure a commitment for a fleet of factory built nuclear power stations, each rated 440 MWe. A fleet deployment in the UK would lead to the creation of new factories to the components and modules, helping the county’s economy to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and pave the way for significant export opportunities.
The consortium members include Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rolls-Royce and TWI. Exelon will add operational experience.
It is estimated that by 2050 a full UK programme of a fleet of factory built nuclear power stations could create up to 40 000 jobs, £52 bn of value to the UK economy, and £250 bn of exports.
The current phase of the programme has been jointly funded by all consortium members and UK Research and Innovation.