The United Kingdom has committed to investing almost 250 million euros in nuclear energy. The investment should help the country with its ambition to be climate-neutral by 2050.
The money goes to engine builder Rolls-Royce, which, among other things, builds the nuclear reactors for British nuclear submarines. The company is managing a consortium that wants to have built the first so-called small modular nuclear reactor in the United Kingdom around 2030.
Faster and cheaper to build
These small modular reactors (SMR), currently being developed in many countries, are cheaper and faster to build than traditional nuclear power plants. For example, the parts of the reactors can be built in the factories and transported via trucks, ships or freight trains to the place where the reactor will be located. On the spot, the reactor can then be assembled.
According to Rolls-Royce, the construction time of the reactors is a total of four years. Tom Samson, head of the SMR project at Rolls-Royce, calls the government investment “fantastic news” in a press release.
British energy minister Kwarteng sees the mini reactors as opportunities to provide British households with both green energy while reducing the use of fossil fuels.
For the time being, investors are only reluctant to invest money into big, new core technology initiatives. With British government money, Rolls-Royces SMR project must be able to take the next steps more quickly.