Teesside has been chosen as the site of the UK's first privately operated nuclear power site - aiming to produce energy from small reactors within ten years.

A company called Community Nuclear Power has announced its first SMR (Small Modular Reactors) project will be on part of the North Tees Complex, an industrial estate of more than 540 acres of former ICI land, led by founder Ian Hunter which is already home to the likes of BOC and Sabic.

A spokesperson for CNP said: "This means the component parts and agreements needed to make this ground-breaking proposition happen – land, capability, technology, private capital funding, and community demand – are in place.

"This project is fully aligned with the GBN (Great British Nuclear, owned by the Government) roadmap, and we look forward to collaborating with them."

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SMRs are nuclear reactors generally 300 MWe equivalent or less, designed with modular factory fabrication, which means they can be produced much more quickly.

There had been reports that Rolls Royce SMRs might be coming to Teesside, but CNP will be using AP300s built by US giant Westinghouse, recently taken over by Brookfield, owner of PD Ports.

The Northern Echo: The Rolls Royce SMRs The Rolls Royce SMRs (Image: RR)

The spokesperson added: "One of the most important factors in making our innovative approach a reality is finding like-minded companies and communities with whom we can work. In North Tees Group, led by Ian Hunter, and in the Stockton North community, we have found people who share our vision – to enable social and economic transformation through a surplus of clean energy.

"The North Tees Group Estate is reclaimed and regenerated industrial land, and the provision of clean, always-on energy from at least four AP300s will help attract inward investment and high-value jobs. This is in addition to the direct jobs and supply chains that construct and operate the site, and the adjacent services that support those manufacturing jobs – all supporting the UK’s drive for economic growth in the regions as well as its Net Zero ambitions.

"We’ve already held a really positive meeting with some of our local stakeholders - the first of many, as we roll-out our community engagement and we plan to hold a public online meeting soon for our valued supporters and interested parties, to share more detail, talk about the opportunities."