UKSMR consortium joins European nuclear industry group

The consortium is designing a low-cost factory-built nuclear power station, also known as a small modular reactor

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The UKSMR consortium, led by Rolls-Royce, has joined the European nuclear industry group FORATOM, which promotes the use of nuclear power in Europe.

The consortium is designing a low-cost factory-built nuclear power station, also known as a small modular reactor (SMR) and is working with partners and the UK Government to secure a commitment for a fleet of power stations, each providing at least 470MW of electricity, to be operational within a decade.

Its standardised, factory-made components and advanced manufacturing processes are expected to lower costs, while the rapid assembly of the modules and components inside a weatherproof canopy on the power station site itself avoids costly schedule disruptions.

The membership of FORATOM is made up of 15 national nuclear associations and through these associations, it represents nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry and supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.

FORATOM Director General Yves Desbazeille said: “We are delighted to have the UKSMR consortium joining our efforts to promote the interests of the nuclear sector at EU level. The topic of SMRs is gaining momentum in the European Union as there are ongoing discussions on how this technology could fit into Europe’s future energy mix. Therefore, we are happy to be able to benefit from the expertise of the UKSMR consortium and its experts in this field in order to ensure that the potential of SMRs is fully recognised by EU decisionmakers.”

The UKSMR consortium members include companies with nuclear engineering, construction and infrastructure expertise, including Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Rolls-Royce and TWI.

Tom Samson, interim Chief Executive of the UKSMR consortium added: “Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change, economic recovery and energy security. To do this it must be affordable, reliable and investable and the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings its cost down to be comparable with offshore wind.

“It also stimulates jobs and growth and with the flexibility to power alternative low carbon fuels manufacturing, as well as providing grid power, it is the best option for underpinning decarbonisation strategies around the world.”

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