Rolls-Royce’s share price rocketed by as much as five per cent on Tuesday after the engineering company secured £195m in private funding for a small-scale nuclear reactor project in the UK.
Shares in the jet engine maker closed up 3.6 per cent at 146p by close of play, also buoyed by the return of leisure travel between the UK and US.
The firm is now involved in a joint venture with private investors including BNF Resources and Exelon Generation to initially build four small modular reactors (SMRs) to complement the UK’s expanding nuclear infrastructure plans.
The government is matching the private funding with a £210m grant.
The latest investment round will take it through the regulatory processes to assess whether the project is suitable for the country.
The SMRs won’t be available until the early 2030s even if the plans are approved, but Rolls-Royce could increase the project to 16 reactors if construction gets underway.
The reactors fit into the government’s 10-point energy plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the UK to deploy more low carbon energy than ever before and ensure greater energy independence.”
Downing Street also wants to reduce its reliance on gas power following dramatic wholesale price rises this autumn, which has resulted in the UK energy market losing nearly half its supplies since the start of the year.