Rolls Royce the UK aircraft engine maker has received funding for its planned mini nuclear reactor for the production of clean energy. Rolls-Royce has created a new Small Modular Reactor (SMR) division after clinching a cash injection of £405 million. According to the statement released by the company it has received £195m cash injection from private firms and a £210m grant from the UK government. It is hoped the new company could create up to 40,000 jobs by 2050.
SMR reactors are far cheaper to build than large-scale nuclear plants because the vast majority of manufacturing and assembly is done in a factory, before transporting to the site.
The investment by Rolls-Royce Group, BNF Resources, Exelon Generation and the government will go towards developing Rolls-Royce’s SMR design and take it through regulatory processes to assess whether it is suitable to be deployed in the UK. It will also identify sites which will manufacture the reactors’ parts and most of the venture’s investment is expected to be focused in the north of the UK, where there is existing nuclear expertise. Rolls-Royce’s share price jumped by 4.2% to 147.85p each following the announcement. The consortium hopes to build on an initial run of five SMRs, the first of which could go on line by 2031, to create a multibillion-pound stable of 16 SMRs around the country.