Recently, a consortium led by Rolls Royce has unveiled its plans to develop around 16 mini-nuclear plants in the UK. The small modular reactor (SMR) consortium which comprises the National Nuclear Laboratory and building company Laing O’Rourke has apparently estimated that if the Government supports the plan, it would generate over 6,000 jobs across Midlands and the North of England over a span of next 5 years alone.
As per credible sources, the government is poised to allocate around £ 200 million (USD 263.4 million) to the project aiming to expedite its long delayed green economic recovery plan. Last year, it had received a funding of £18 million (USD 23.7 million) to commence the designing process for SMR.
Speaking on the significance of SMR project, the government has stated that new nuclear is essential for the UK to achieve its target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, where any amount of carbon released is counterbalanced by an equivalent amount absorbed in the atmosphere.
Apparently, the country is about to witness shortfall of energy from nuclear reactors with six of its seven nuclear reactor sites are anticipated to go offline by 2030 whereas, the remaining one, Sizewell B, is about to get decommissioned in 2035. To this, Rolls-Royce and its partners have suggested to make smaller and large number of nuclear reactors. This concept would significantly reduce the amount of construction associated with a nuclear project, claims the chief executive of the UK SMR, Tom Samson. He further added that if all the activities related to the projected are moved into a controlled factory environment, it can help in reducing the cost through standardization and simplification.
It has been further estimated that, each plant would generate 440 MW of electricity, roughly enough to energize Sheffield and apparently, when the first few of them are built, they will cost approximately £2 billion (USD 2.63 billion) each.
Source credits: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54703204