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2 minute read - 6th July 2022

Locations shortlisted for first Rolls-Royce SMR factory

Rolls-Royce SMR has announced a list of potential locations for its first factory. The first of three SMR factories, the new site will manufacture the ‘heavy vessels’ for its small modular reactor (SMR) power station.

The firm said that this would be the largest and most complex facility, therefore, it was important to take decisions early to enable its deployment and that construction will begin once Rolls-Royce SMR receives the go-ahead to build a fleet of SMRs in the UK.

The other two factories will manufacture civils modules and mechanical electrical and plumbing (MEP) modules – which will be transported to sites and assembled into a nuclear power station that will generate 470MW of low-carbon electricity. These locations will be selected from the full list of submissions – giving all locations further opportunities to host a Rolls-Royce SMR factory.

The locations of the final shortlisted sites are:

North East – IAMP Sunderland
North East – Forrest Park, Newton Aycliffe
North Yorkshire – Catterick 53, Richmond
Wales – Gateway, Deeside
Yorkshire – Ferrybridge
Greater Lincolnshire – Grimsby & Pioneer Park, Stallingborough
Cumbria – Kingmoor Park, Carlisle

Rolls-Royce SMR has announced a shortlist of potential locations for its first factory. The first of three, it will manufacture the ‘heavy vessels’ for its SMR power stations / Picture: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce SMR chief executive, Tom Samson, said: “I would like to thank everyone who sent in a submission suggesting locations in their region for the first Rolls-Royce SMR factory. The response was fantastic and shows the ambition and appetite of the UK to build and operate a fleet of SMRs which will provide affordable, low-carbon electricity for generations to come.

“The final location will come from the shortlist and will result in significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and will support the UK government’s aspirations for levelling-up. Today’s announcement is another example of the pace of our project and why Rolls-Royce SMR is the UK’s domestic nuclear energy champion.”

Rolls-Royce SMR’s approach is a completely different way of building nuclear power stations, where approximately 90% of manufacturing and assembly activities are carried out in factory conditions, significantly reducing the timescales and project risk.

The site shortlist was selected against a clear set of criteria, picked from over 100 submissions from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and development agencies – suggesting sites across the UK where the Rolls-Royce SMR factories could be located.

Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, added: “This is fantastic news for Sunderland, North Yorkshire, Deeside, Lincolnshire and Carlisle which, if these SMRs go ahead, could be at the forefront of manufacturing components for this British-made tech.

“Backed by £210m, SMRs have the potential to provide quicker and cheaper low-carbon nuclear power, and today’s announcement underlines the potential for new jobs around the country created by embracing this new technology.”

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