Rolls Royce has just stepped into nuclear energy and will create 16 high-end nuclear plants capable of producing more energy than the ones much bigger in size. Each of these Rolls Royce mini nuclear plants would be capable of producing up to 440 megawatts of energy.
BBC published the report on this consortium behind the project that will be led by Rolls Royce. They have laid down plans for developing 16 mini-nuclear plants in the United Kingdom.
Rolls-Royce to build 16 mini-nuclear plants in UK
Rolls Royce stated the project would create 6,000 jobs in the Midlands. And will certainly extend these opportunities to the North of England in the next five years. Prime Minister of Great Britain will be announcing a grant of at least $262 million dedicated to this mini nuclear plant project. The project will help England meet its green plan for the recovery of the national economy.
The premium high-end auto-manufacturer said these mini-nuclear plants might aid in the export industry in the future. And the chances are that it is true as the tech would enable to produce low-carbon electricity. It is the need for the time keeping in mind the pacing effects of global climate change.
The firm’s U.K. “small modular reactor” group includes the building company Laing O’Rourke and the National Nuclear Laboratory. In 2019, the SMR group roughly got $23 million to start designing the SMR concept.
Nuclear powers roughly 20 percent of UK’s electricity
The U.K. administration declares new nuclear sources of power crucial for the U.K. to meet its climate change goals and net-zero emissions target before 2050.
These new reactors will fill the energy network gap caused by the nearing expiration dates on the island nation’s nuclear power grid. Six out of seven U.K.’s nuclear reactors will be going offline somewhere around 2030.
Why a modular nuclear plant is better than large ones
The consortium led by Rolls Royce said it is more convenient to build more of the small nuclear plants instead of developing huge nuclear mega-projects across the English countryside. The project aims to re-engineer nuclear power so that it could function as a high-tech Lego set.
Hundreds of modules will be built in a central factory and then be shipped to different assembly sites. This nationwide hard work will help reduce the massive cost linked to nuclear energy.
Complex and massive nuclear power plants require high safety standards to be maintained, significantly increasing the cost. And as these big nuclear power plants are difficult to build, the engineers cannot make changes or learn from the mistakes.
Simplified factory production simplifies new standard
In a statement to The Guardian, the U.K. SMR CEO said that if these mini-nuclear power plants project goes as planned, it will significantly help bring down the big ones’ construction amount.
Samson added that if we move the activity into a controlled factory environment, it will reduce the cost by standardization and simplification.
Mini-nuclear has far to go before meeting energy demands
Each of the mini-nuclear power plants will produce 440 megawatts of electricity, the amount of energy enough to power the whole of Sheffield. On each of its costs, experts expect it to go up to $2.62 billion.
Developing the first mini-nuclear reactor would take as long as a decade, however, afterward it will take a year to produce two.
The project doesn’t entirely aid the U.K. in meeting its zero-net emissions goals; however, it’s the first step towards that direction. It doesn’t change most of the conventional transportation and home heating system needs. But surely it will meet the U.K’s rising electricity needs for the coming years.