Deeside shortlisted as potential site for nuclear reactor factory
Deeside has been shortlisted as a potential location for the first factory in the UK to build a fleet of small modular nuclear reactors.
The Rolls-Royce-led consortium developing the new technology has revealed a list of six locations for the factory, which also includes Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Richmond constituency in North Yorkshire, along with Sunderland, Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire, Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, and Carlisle.
The list has been compiled following a bidding process which was launched in January and involved several English regional development bodies and the Welsh government.
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, Rolls-Royce SMR chief executive, told the Financial Times the level of the response “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 would come from the shortlist and “result in significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and will support the UK government’s aspirations for levelling-up”, he added.
Trawsfynydd has been identified as a possible site for two SMRs, and last month the company set up to develop a new power station there set out plans to start work on a new nuclear plant in 2027 – which would go online in the early 2030s.
Cwmni Egino, the company established by the Welsh government to build a new reactor at the site of the decommissioned Magnox power plant, says it is yet to make a decision as to which technology is best suited for the site.
The company’s Chief Executive, Alan Raymant said it was “aiming to start exploratory discussions with potential technology partners over the coming months as we continue to work with others to develop our detailed proposals for the site”.
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