Rolls-Royce eyeing UK approval for mini nuclear reactor by mid-2024
Following the approval, Rolls-Royce will be capable of producing grid power by 2029.
Chairman of Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactors Paul Stein, said as quoted by Reuters that a Rolls-Royce (RR.L) design for a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) will most likely receive UK regulatory approval by mid-2024 and will be capable of producing grid power by 2029.
After supporting Rolls-Royce's $546 million funding round in November to develop the country's first SMR reactor, the British government asked its nuclear regulator to begin the approval process in March.
Policymakers hope SMRs will help cut dependence on fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions.
It is worth mentioning that each 470 MW SMR unit would cost £1.8 billion ($2.34 billion) and would be built on a 10-acre site, roughly the size of ten football fields.
SMRs, unlike traditional reactors, are less expensive and faster to build, and they can also be deployed on ships and aircraft. Because of their "modular" design, they can be shipped by container from the factory and installed quickly on any proposed site.
This comes as Europe is currently grappling with increases in energy prices, prompting countries to plan ahead to avert problems in the future.