Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor concept sketch.

Rolls’ Modular Reactor On Track for Approval

April 19, 2022
The Small Modular Reactor concept is undergoing U.K. government regulatory approval and should be cleared by mid-2024, meaning the first 440-MW units could be powering the grid by 2029.

Rolls-Royce Plc aims to have its Small Modular Reactor technology supplying power to the U.K. energy grid by 2029, according to comments by the group’s top executive for the SMR development. Paul Stein, in a published interview, reported that the government regulatory approval process had been initiated and is on track for completion in mid-2024.

"We are trying to work with the U.K. government and others to get going now, placing orders, so we can get power on grid by 2029," Stein told Reuters. The chairman of Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactors added that group is ready to start manufacturing some finalized parts of the SMR design.

The Rolls’ SMR concept centers on low-cost, factory-built nuclear power stations with at least 440 MW of electrical energy-generating capacity. In 2020, Rolls led the launch of a consortium of businesses and the U.K. government to establish a series of SMRs in Britain during this decade.

On the current timetable, Rolls would be set to start the first SMR by the end of the 2020s.  The group previously has indicated it aims to have as many as 10 Small Modular Reactors in operation by 2035.

British officials see the SMR as part of its strategy to reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels and to cut carbon emissions levels.

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