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Rolls-Royce kicks off SMR prototype facility in Sheffield

Rolls-Royce SMR is building a multi-million-pound facility in Sheffield to manufacture and test prototype modules for its small modular reactors

Rolls-Royce SMR has announced the construction of a facility in Sheffield to manufacture and test prototype modules for its small modular reactors (SMRs).

The Rolls-Royce SMR Module Development Facility will be located within the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s Factory 2050.

The first phase of the project is valued at £2.7 million and is part of a larger £15+ million package designed to support the Rolls-Royce SMR programme by reducing risks and refining the modular approach.

This method, while new to the nuclear industry, is widely used in the oil, gas and renewables sectors.

This initiative represents the UK’s first home-grown nuclear technology in over a generation and is a step towards deploying factory-built nuclear power plants in the UK and internationally.

The facility aims to produce prefabricated and pre-tested modules ready for assembly on site.

Claire Coutinho, Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, said: “SMRs are the future of nuclear technology, and key to quadrupling the UK’s nuclear capacity by 2050 as part of the biggest expansion in 70 years.

“This multi-million-pound SMR manufacturing facility will be fantastic for Sheffield – making the Steel City once again the home to world-leading industry.”

Victoria Scott, Chief Manufacturing Engineer at Rolls-Royce SMR, stated that the facility will help refine production and testing processes, enhancing delivery certainty.

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “Today’s announcement is a testament to the University’s strengths in clean energy research and innovation, and our unrivalled expertise in developing leading-edge manufacturing techniques.”

Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “This is a vote of confidence in industrial Britain, and it offers us a glimpse of the enormous potential that SMRs have to drive investment and skilled job creation right across the country.”

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