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New Partnership for Rolls’ Small Nuclear Reactor Concept

March 4, 2021
The SMR will be a low-cost, factory-built nuclear power station with standardized components and assembled inside a weatherproof canopy – with at least 440 MW of electrical energy capacity.

Rolls-Royce plc struck a “memorandum of understanding” with a nuclear-power start-up company to study the potential for compact nuclear power stations.  Fermi Energia, the partner in this effort, is a venture founded by nuclear scientists, energy experts, and entrepreneurs aiming to bring small modular reactors (SMR) to Estonia to meet its climate goals, achieve energy security, and promote economic growth.

“Fermi Energia is looking at Small Modular Reactor designs with credible technical, financial, and political commitment to have first-of-a-kind deployment this decade,” stated CEO and co-founder Kalev Kallemets.

Rolls’ SMR concept centers on low-cost, factory-built nuclear power stations with at least 440 MW of electrical energy capacity. Last fall Rolls led the launch of a consortium of business and the U.K. government to establish a series of SMRs in Britain during this decade.

The U.K. SMR consortium will build the power stations and then transfer proprietorship to utilities or power-generation companies.

The plants’ standardized components and advanced manufacturing processes are said to contain development and start-up costs and accelerate assembly of the plant inside a weatherproof canopy.

Tom Samson, interim CEO of the U.K. SMR consortium, stated: “Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change, economic recovery and energy security. To do this it must be affordable, reliable, and investable, and the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings its cost down to be comparable with offshore wind. It also stimulates jobs and growth, and with the flexibility to power alternative low-carbon fuels manufacture as well as providing grid power, it is the best option for underpinning decarbonization strategies around the world.”

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