The funding is to accelerate the design of small modular reactors (SMR) to make the UK a world leader in advanced nuclear technology.
As part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, £18 million has already been contributed towards phase one of the Low Cost Nuclear Challenge (LCN). This was match-funded by Rolls-Royce plc and a consortium of industrial partners, to develop an SMR design that would enter the generic design assessment process.
This next £210 million grant awarded to Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd marks the commencement of the second phase of the programme, which will:
- build on the concept reactor design
- develop detailed designs
- undergo the UK regulatory approval process.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng will formally announce the grant on a visit to the Nuclear AMRC in Sheffield today, 9 November. This is in line with a commitment made in the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan to reach net zero by 2050.
The Chief Executive for Rolls-Royce will also confirm initial match-funding from private sector investors.
The government confirmed its commitment to developing large, small, and advanced nuclear projects to help the UK reach net zero in:
- the 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution
- the energy white paper.
See full release issued by Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The £210 million investment forms phase two and is also part of a £385 million Advanced Nuclear fund to invest in the next generation of nuclear power in the UK.
About the LCN challenge
The LCN challenge aims to position the UK as a global leader in the provision of nuclear co-generation technology and services by bridging the existing technology gaps to enable energy-intensive industries to effectively use small nuclear outputs.
This will enable the UK to deploy SMR and advanced modular reactors (AMR) quickly and efficiently in the future, making possible their wider application.
Top image: Credit: Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd