Rolls-Royce to Launch Groundbreaking Nuclear Solution for Clean Energy and Fuels

The Rolls-Royce SMR clean energy venture will be based in Northern UK 7 photos
Photo: Rolls-Royce
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Rolls-Royce’s complex strategy for a green future includes the recent establishment of Rolls-Royce SMR, a project developed together with several industry partners and supported by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding. The goal is to make clean energy for multiple applications, including the automotive industry, widely available and affordable.
The UK government is focusing on a real “green industrial revolution,” and part of that has to do with obtaining affordable, low-carbon nuclear power. As its name suggests, the Small Modular Reactor program, developed by Rolls-Royce, wants to combine advanced nuclear technology with a groundbreaking module manufacturing and assembly system that would make the final solution cheaper and scalable.

A single one of these SMR power stations could power one million homes. But in addition to providing on-grid and off-grid electricity, these modules would also support the production of green hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and other alternative fuels for decarbonizing transportation. Instead of a huge bespoke facility, each module would be factory-built and assembled and then easily transported via truck to where it’s required.

This innovative green-tech business is now fully funded, with over $649 million (£490 million) secured. The most recent investor is the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), a sovereign wealth fund established in 2005 and one of the biggest of its kind in the world. With an investment adding up to over $112 million (£85 million), QIA now owns 10% share in the equity.

It represents a huge step forward in our plan to deploy more home-grown, affordable clean energy - ensuring greater energy independence for the UK, highly skilled jobs and bringing cheaper, cleaner electricity to people’s homes,” said Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng.

Since most of this investment will be focused in the northern part of the UK, and almost the entire supply chain is also expected to be local, the SMR project has the potential of becoming a major asset for the country. But there’s still a long way to go – the first SMR units are due to become operational by the early 2030s.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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