Wednesday 11 November 2020 10:00 am

Rolls-Royce: Mini nuclear reactors to power 6,000 new jobs by 2025

Rolls-Royce has said that a government commitment to plans to develop mini nuclear reactors will create 6,000 jobs within the next five years.

The engine maker is leading a consortium of companies in designing and building a fleet of 16 such reactors to be deployed across the country.

The blue-chip firm said that with 80 per cent of the components for the plants to be built in the Midlands and the north, backing the plan would support the government’s “levelling up” agenda.

By the mid-2030s, Rolls-Royce said that another 34,000 jobs could be created throuhg the project, mainly in high value manufacturing roles.

Tom Samson, interim chief executive officer of the UK SMR Consortium, said: “[The project] creates a unique opportunity to revitalise the UK’s industrial base and paves the way for the future commercialisation of advanced reactor solutions, including fusion technology.

“Our ambition to accelerate the deployment of a fleet these power stations across the UK will contribute massively to the ‘levelling up’ agenda, creating sustainable high value manufacturing jobs in those areas most in need of economic activity.”

Sky reported that the consortium was looking for an additional £217m in government funding to push on the project.

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The rest of the consortium is made up by a who’s who of engineering giants, such as Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, and Laing O’Rourke.

Each mini power station will provide 440MW of electricity, enough low carbon power for a city of 450,000 homes for 60 years.

The first unit will be operational within 10 years of the first order, with the factories able to produce two units per year thereafter.

Samson added that if successful the export potential for the UK could be at least £250bn by 2050.

The announcement comes with Boris Johnson due to unveil a “10 point plan” for the UK’s transition to a net zero energy system.

Nuclear is touted to form a key pillar of the strategy, with the BBC reporting that the government is mulling taking stakes in new developments such as Sizewell C in Suffolk.

Yesterday it was reported that a US consortium had approached the government about taking over the Wylfa nuclear site on Anglesey in north Wales.