Rolls-Royce has officially launched its mini nuclear reactor building business after securing £400m of funding.
The Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR) business includes BAM and Laing O’Rourke among its main supply chain partners.
SMR has secured £195m in investment from Rolls-Royce Group, BNF Resources UK Limited and Exelon Generation Limited alongside grant funding of £210m from UK Research and Innovation funding.
The business will now start to identify sites for factories which will manufacture the modules that enable on-site assembly of the power plants.
Warren East, Rolls-Royce CEO said: “With the Rolls-Royce SMR technology, we have developed a clean energy solution which can deliver cost competitive and scalable net zero power for multiple applications from grid and industrial electricity production to hydrogen and synthetic fuel manufacturing.
“The business could create up to 40,000 jobs, through UK deployment and export enabled growth. As a major shareholder in Rolls-Royce SMR, we will continue to support its path to successful deployment.”
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Small Modular Reactors offer exciting opportunities to cut costs and build more quickly, ensuring we can bring clean electricity to people’s homes and cut our already-dwindling use of volatile fossil fuels even further.”
Tom Samson, CEO, Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “Rolls-Royce SMR has been established to deliver a low cost, deployable, scalable and investable programme of new nuclear power plants.
“Our transformative approach to delivering nuclear power, based on predictable factory-built components, is unique and the nuclear technology is proven.”
Nine-tenths of an individual Rolls-Royce SMR power plant will be built or assembled in factory conditions and around 80% could be delivered by a UK supply chain.
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.