TEESSIDE is ready to work with another revolutionary energy firm - iconic Rolls-Royce and their low carbon nuclear power technology.

The firm has only just announced its Small Modular Reactor plans, saying Rolls-Royce Group, BNF Resources UK Limited and Exelon Generation Limited will invest £195m over three years in a deployable and scalable programme of new nuclear power plants.

The funding will enable the business to secure grant funding of £210 million from UK Research and Innovation funding and among the next steps is identifying sites for the factories which will manufacture the modules enabling on-site assembly of the plants.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Teesside is helping to drive forward some of the welding technologies that make SMRs possible, developing them right here at TWI in Middlesbrough. We know this inside out and back to front and, what’s more, our local people have the skills to deliver it - it's a no brainer.

“We would welcome Rolls-Royce’s project to our area just as we’d work with any company looking to bring good-quality jobs and investment in the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future to Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“We are already leading the way in these innovative industries with Net Zero Teesside, our many hydrogen power pilots and the work to become the UK’s premier hub for offshore wind and this could be yet another string to our bow."

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Rolls Royce SMR will also hold talks with Government about the delivery models that will enable long-term investment in the net-zero enabling technology. The company is engaging with export customers who need this technology to meet their own country's net zero commitments.

Nine-tenths of an individual Rolls-Royce SMR power plant will be built or assembled in factory conditions and around 80% could be delivered by a UK supply chain. Much of the venture's investment is expected to be focused in the North, where there is significant existing nuclear expertise

A single power station will occupy the footprint of two football pitches and power approximately one million homes. It can support both on-grid electricity and a range of off-grid clean energy solutions, enabling the decarbonisation of industrial processes and the production of clean fuels, such as sustainable aviation fuels and green hydrogen.

Warren East, Rolls-Royce CEO adds, “the SMR programme is one of the ways that Rolls-Royce is meeting the need to ensure the UK continues to develop innovative ways to tackle the global threat of climate change. With the Rolls-Royce SMR technology, we have developed a clean energy solution which can deliver cost competitive and scalable net zero power for multiple applications."

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the UK to deploy more low carbon energy than ever before and ensure greater energy independence.

Small Modular Reactors offer exciting opportunities to cut costs and build more quickly.


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