According to Paul Stein, chairman of Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactors, a Rolls-Royce design for a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) would likely gain UK regulatory certification by mid-2024 and be ready to supply grid electricity by 2029.
After supporting Rolls-$546 Royce’s million investment round in November to create the country’s first SMR reactor, the British government ordered its nuclear regulator to begin the approval process in March.
SMRs are expected to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions, according to policymakers.
Stein told Reuters in a virtual interview that the regulatory “process has begun” and that it would likely be completed by the middle of 2024.
“We are trying to work with the UK Government, and others to get going now placing orders, so we can get power on grid by 2029.”
Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce will begin producing sections of the design that are unlikely to alter, according to Stein.
Each 470 megawatt (MW) SMR unit would cost 1.8 billion pounds and be constructed on a 10-acre site, roughly the size of ten football fields.
SMRs are less expensive and faster to build than conventional reactors, and they can also be installed aboard ships and aeroplanes.
Because of their “modular” design, they may be carried by container from the factory and erected rapidly at any specified location.