Rolls-Royce to create 6,000 UK jobs to build 16 mini nuclear power stations

Posted: November 11, 2020 by oldbrew in government, News, Nuclear power
Tags: ,

SMR transporter


RR has also linked up with American and Czech nuclear firms with a view to developing the international market. Hard to see how the government can get anywhere near its ‘net zero’ electricity targets without this technology. They keep saying ‘build back better’ so here’s an obvious chance to do that, as existing UK nuclear is being retired.
– – –
A consortium led by the engine maker is hoping to secure a further £217m of funding from the government for the project, says Sky News.

A group led by Rolls-Royce has pledged to create 6,000 regional UK jobs within the next five years under plans to build 16 mini nuclear power stations.

The consortium said the jobs would help support the government’s “levelling up” agenda, with up to 80% of the power station components set to be made in factories across the Midlands and the north of England.

These components would then be sent on to existing nuclear sites around the country for rapid assembly.

The plans come at a crucial time for the UK amid rising unemployment caused by the pandemic.

They could also help revive the fortunes of the engine maker Rolls-Royce, which is slashing 9,000 jobs to offset the hit from coronavirus, around two-thirds of them in the UK.

As well as the potential to create 6,000 jobs by 2025, the nuclear power plant plans could deliver a further 34,000 roles in 15 years, most of which would be high value manufacturing jobs.

The consortium – which also includes National Nuclear Laboratory and the construction company Laing O’Rourke – said it is hoping to get a “clear commitment” from the government for the flat-packed power station project.

The government handed the Rolls-Royce-led coalition £18m last year to design the small modular reactors (SMR).

The consortium matched the funding and is now looking to secure a further £217m, which would also be matched by industry.

Full report here.

Comments
  1. Chaswarnertoo says:

    About bleeping time.

  2. cognog2 says:

    This is excellent news. Pity the funds involved are so small in relation to what we are spending propping up the renewable sector.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Something might come out of the next spending review.

    The Government has confirmed it is scrapping a planned multi-year spending review, and instead holding a one-year review at the end of November.
    https://www.aol.co.uk/news/2020/10/21/treasury-scraps-multi-year-spending-review-for-12-month-covid-pl/

    Or it could just be more waffle. Maybe RR is just putting the pressure on.

    From our other recent blog post on this:

    According to the Financial Times, the new investment of between £1.5bn and £2bn is under discussion, likely to be announced in the Treasury’s next spending review this year.
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/2bn-fund-earmarked-for-16-mini-nuclear-power-stations/

    Since dumping fracking, the UK isn’t exactly awash with options for reliable electricity generation going forward. It can import more gas, buy power from other countries, build one or two massive nuclear plants, and…?

  4. oldbrew says:

    BBC, 52 minutes ago:
    The Prime Minister is understood to be poised to announce at least £200m for the project as part of a long-delayed green plan for economic recovery.
    . . .
    Boris Johnson is rumoured to be planning to take a big punt on nuclear power.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54703204
    – – –
    BBC tags it ‘climate change’ 🙄

    A lot of ‘big punts’ lie ahead if electric cars, electric heating etc. are going to replace existing options without crashing the power grid on a regular basis due to ‘net zero’ policies.

  5. spetzer86 says:

    Wonder if there will be as many protests about building a facility that builds small nuclear reactors as there would be for building a large nuclear reactor? From a Green perspective, they’re both heretical.

  6. Gamecock says:

    ‘Bout time for this to come out again. 10Oct, 15Jun, 16Feb, and 24Jan not enough. It gets recirculated every few months, unlike those internet emails that get sent out again every few years. The ones that put snopes on the map.

    This story is 5 years old. A nothing burger.

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/rolls-royce-angling-as-medium-term-solution-to-uk-power-crisis/

  7. JB says:

    We can look at how this fascist approach worked out for Italian industry a century ago as an harbinger. I’ve always been in favor of nuclear, especially developing thorium. I just can’t imagine how they can make it work under government oversight. My son about to take military retirement discussed with me recently all the headaches and impediments government regulated contracts created for the military–as though the military didn’t originate their own. Bureaucratic overload always manages to cut their own throats.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Exelon and Rolls-Royce in pact for UK small modular reactors
    November 11, 2020

    The UKSMR consortium will build the fleets and hand them over to Exelon Generation for operation.

    Exelon Generation will leverage its expertise gained in operating some 21 nuclear fleets in the US. The fleet produces more than 158 million MW/hs of clean electricity every year.

    https://www.powerengineeringint.com/nuclear/exelon-generation-to-operate-uk-compact-nuclear-stations-with-rolls-royce/

  9. Gamecock says:

    ‘The UKSMR consortium will built the fleets and hand them over to Exelon Generation for operation.’

    Fleets? What is this usage?

    ‘Exelon Generation will leverage its expertise gained in operating some 21 nuclear fleets in the US. The fleet produces more than 158 million MW/hs of clean electricity every year.’

    21 ‘fleets’ (sic) X 158 million MW/hs/fleet = 3.3 GW/hs (check my maths)

    ‘Tom Samson, interim CEO of the UKSMR consortium, said: “Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change and economic recovery’

    Political gibberish. They aren’t serious.

  10. oldbrew says:

    Gamecock – the 21 ‘fleets’ should probably say plants, but the figure may soon be 17.
    https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Exelon-announces-early-shutdown-of-four-Illinois-r

    The Independent headline refers to ‘a fleet of 16’…etc.
    ‘https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/mini-nuclear-power-stations-uk-rolls-royce-b1721175.html
    – – –
    Then there’s this:

    Akademik Lomonosov (Russian: Академик Ломоносов) is a non-self-propelled power barge that operates as the first Russian floating nuclear power station.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akademik_Lomonosov

  11. oldbrew says:

    Surely a modest £200 million or so for RR & co. won’t break the bank…

    Banks bet the bank on $29 Trillion green & climate investment ‘opportunities’
    Date: 11/11/20 South China Morning Post

    https://www.thegwpf.com/banks-bet-the-bank-on-29-trillion-green-climate-investment-opportunities/

  12. Phil Salmon says:

    This is positive news on November 11.
    It means that a million soldiers gave their lives for a country that might still have a future.

  13. Phil Salmon says:

    This news is not just recycled, there are new overseas contracts (Czeck and USA). Rolls Royce presumably know that the UK will take a generation to decide yes or no, so an export market in countries with governments that actually function is essential for their survival.

    The group has sealed two new agreements in the past week, with US power giant Exelon Generation and Czech Republic firm CEZ looking at how the reactors could be used in their power stations.

  14. oldbrew says:

    UK’s nuclear future to be decided at key meeting
    By Simon Jack
    Business editor

    Published 2 days ago

    Although many energy industry experts remain sceptical that small nuclear reactors can play a significant role, the BBC understands that the government has big ambitions to progress this technology, and that it will form an important part of the government’s long term plans.

    A detailed white paper on the future shape of UK energy policy is expected in late November.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54867442
    – – –
    Nuclear is all over the UK news lately. Announcements are said to be imminent. They have to say something, even if it’s the all too familiar ‘don’t know’ or ‘definite maybe’. Unemployment is booming, what’s the point of dithering?

  15. Gamecock says:

    You may be correct, Mr Salmon. But 5 years of announcements makes me skeptical.

  16. Bill Treuren says:

    And how many mega watts is same said station.

    They look very sub 200!!

    so they need literally dozens, coming to a mall near you soon, yeh right!!!

  17. oldbrew says:

    The UK SMR concept from Rolls-Royce is a standard small pressurized water reactor with a planned operating time of 60 years and an installed capacity of 440 MW.

    https://praguebusinessjournal.com/cez-rolls-royce-to-build-small-modular-reactors/

  18. Phil Salmon says:

    Nuclear is all over the UK news lately. Announcements are said to be imminent. They have to say something, even if it’s the all too familiar ‘don’t know’ or ‘definite maybe’. Unemployment is booming, what’s the point of dithering?

    If the UK indeed go for this, that would be a “green new deal” I could believe in. Britain needs to halt the century-long decline in its industry and technology.

    Those who have long argued that Britain is just the square mile and the rest of the country should be “put out to tourism” need to be hung, drawn and quartered.

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