Small Modular Reactors

UK / Assystem Joins Rolls-Royce SMR Consortium

By David Dalton
8 April 2020

Aim is to build fleet of up to 16 440-MW reactors
Assystem Joins Rolls-Royce SMR Consortium
A mockup of the proposed 440-MW SMR plant. Photo courtesy Rolls-Royce.
UK-based nuclear engineering company Assystem has announced it will become part of a UK consortium established to design and build compact nuclear power stations.

The consortium is comprised of Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear AMRC, Rolls-Royce, Jacobs and TWI.

It is working to design a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor that will be at the heart of the UK’s planned low-carbon economy.

The consortium is matching the £18m investment confirmed by the UK government organisation, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The first power station is targeted to be built and connected to the national electricity grid by 2029, with the support of legislation to enable the programme.

The project aims to build a fleet of up to 16 SMRs. Each will provide enough electricity (440 MW) to power a city. Working as a fleet, these plants will bring “a secure supply of electricity to the UK when reliance on fossil fuels decreases to meet the net zero carbon emissions target in 2050”, Assystem said.

Rolls-Royce has said the target cost for each new SMR is £1.8bn by the time five have been built, with further savings possible.

Assystem is present in all the main countries developing nuclear energy including the UK, France, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. The company said it believes that electricity generated through large and small nuclear power stations will provide the foundations for a sustainable energy future.

Assystem will be involved in development of the plant’s turbine island, cooling water island and other key structures and systems.

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