Deeside makes final shortlist as location for new nuclear reactor factory
Deeside has been shortlisted, along with two sites in England, as the potential location for the first factory to supply parts for Rolls-Royce’s proposed fleet of mini-nuclear reactors.
Sunderland and Teesside have also made the final cut, with the decision on the winner expected to be confirmed early next year.
The final three bids have been whittled down from the shortlist of eight which was revealed in October and also included Shotton.
The Rolls-Royce-led consortium developing the new technology launched the bidding process, which involved several English regional development bodies and the Welsh Government in January.
The winning bid has been promised investment of up to £200m and the creation of up to 200 jobs.
The consortium aims to build five £2bn small modular reactors by 2031, and then another eleven in the years that follow, each with the capacity to power 1.3m homes.
Rolls-Royce claims a single SMR power station will occupy the footprint of two football pitches and power approximately one million homes, with up to 90% of the plant built or assembled in factory conditions.
Tom Samson, chief executive of Rolls’s SMR division, said it aims to eventually build at least three factories manufacturing components for the SMRs, amounting to “an incredible opportunity for a region of the UK”.
He told the Telegraph newspaper: “Our power stations will be built in British factories situated in the north of England or Wales and will generate tens of thousands of long-term highly skilled jobs – accelerating regional economic growth.”
The three shortlisted sites for the factory are the Gateway, Deeside, The International Advanced Manufacturing Park, Sunderland and South Tyneside and Teesworks, Teesside.
The factory will manufacture pressure vessels for the SMRs, which are the large steel structures surrounding the reactor core.
Rolls-Royce says it will not enter final negotiations on the development until it is in formal talks with the UK Government about rolling out its reactors.
Trawsfynydd has been identified as a possible site for two SMRs before the end of the decade, and in October the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority which owns the site signed an agreement with the Welsh government’s development company, Cwmni Egino, to share information on how best to redevelop the site.
Cwmni Egino chief executive Alan Raymant has said that they are focused on installing one of a new generation of mini nuclear reactors with an aim to start on the work by 2027.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.