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HomeRenewablesenergy costsRolls-Royce pulls plug on UK nuclear factory plans

Rolls-Royce pulls plug on UK nuclear factory plans

Rolls-Royce has reportedly revised its plans to construct nuclear factories in the UK, citing ongoing delays in a government design competition for its small modular reactor (SMR) programme.

Initially proposing two factories, the company has decided to forgo building a pressure vessel manufacturing facility due to time constraints, opting instead to procure heavy pressure vessels from third-party suppliers.

While plans for a second factory focused on building modular units for SMRs continue, the decision highlights the challenges posed by the delayed design competition.

Rolls-Royce has indicated the possibility of revisiting its plans for a pressure vessel factory in the future, depending on the establishment of a robust order pipeline.

A Department of Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson told Energy Live News: “Our world leading SMR competition aims to be the fastest of its kind, helping secure billions in investment for the UK, meaning cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy in the long term.

“We’ve ended the stop-start approach to nuclear and recently launched a roadmap setting out the biggest expansion of the sector in 70 years, simplifying regulation and shortening the process for building new power stations.

“We have already launched the tender phase and Great British Nuclear aims to announce successful bidders by the end of 2024.”

A Rolls-Royce SMR spokesperson told ELN: “Rolls-Royce SMR is a factory-built solution and will need to use a range of facilities, managed by ourselves and by our supply chain.

“We have prioritised work on our Modules Assembly & Test Facility, where we will bring together components from the supply chain for fabrication into modules which are then taken to site for assembly into the finished power plant.

“Our unique modularisation approach is key to our success and, therefore, our efforts are focused on this facility and identifying the best site to support our deployment at pace.

“The components that would be produced by a Heavy Pressure Vessels factory can be sourced from the supply chain in the short term but, with a sufficient fleet commitment in the UK and overseas, there is further opportunity for investment in additional factory infrastructure.”

Energy Live News
Energy Live News
This article first appeared on Energy Live News, an award winning news service. Their mission is to give you balanced news, analysis, commentary of energy from their dedicated team of quality journalists and production staff.
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