Next steps in developing the design for one of the world’s first small modular reactors (SMR) has been backed by £210 million in new Conservative Government funding for Rolls-Royce SMR.
Matched by private sector funding of over £250 million, today’s investment will take forward phase two of the Low-Cost Nuclear project to further develop SMR design and take it through the regulatory processes to assess suitability of potential deployment in the UK.
SMRs have the potential to be less expensive to build than traditional nuclear power plants because of their smaller size. Their modular nature of the components offers the potential for parts to be produced in dedicated factories and shipped by road to site – reducing construction time and cost. Rolls Royce SMR estimate that each Small Modular Reactor could be capable of powering 1 million homes – equivalent to a city the size of Leeds.
This deal has the potential to deliver good news for Wales with sites at Trawsfynydd and Wylfa ready to be put into action. This will allow Wales and the UK to double down on the plan to deploy more home-grown, affordable clean energy, and the sites will be designed and manufactured in the UK, for the UK.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Janet Finch Saunders MS, said:
“This is fantastic news for people in Wales and the UK, and we now have an opportunity to deploy more low carbon energy than ever before and ensure greater energy security and independence.
“The new investment means we could potentially welcome new small nuclear reactors in Trawsfynydd and Wylfa due to the vital pre-existing infrastructure that feeds into the National Grid.
“The modular reactor technology will help to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and exposure to global price spikes, while creating affordable, cleaner energy for Welsh people.
“The Labour Government in Cardiff Bay must throw its full weight behind nuclear energy as its current non-committal policy will only hinder our fight against climate change as we strive towards reaching net zero by 2050.”