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Second Welsh location shortlisted for siting of new nuclear reactor factory

22 Oct 2022 3 minute read
An artists impression of one of the SMR factories. Image Rolls-Royce SMR

Shotton has been added to the list of potential locations for one of the three factories across the UK which will manufacture Rolls-Royce’s fleet of new SMR reactors.

Deeside was confirmed as the first Welsh location when the initial round of six potential sites were announced in July.

Redcar in the northeast of England has also been added to the shortlist of candidates list alongside Shotton.

The Rolls-Royce-led consortium developing the new technology has confirmed the eight locations following a bidding process which was launched in January and involved several English regional development bodies and the Welsh Government.

The eight sites also include Tory leadership candidate – and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Richmond constituency in North Yorkshire, along with Sunderland, Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire, Stallingborough, Lincolnshire, and Carlisle.

The winning bid has been promised investment of up to £200m and the creation of up to 200 jobs.

Power

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.

Rolls-Royce SMR is carrying out site visits to the eight locations which are in the running to produce the vessels for the 470 MWe pressurised water reactor over the next six weeks, ahead of the next stage of the site-selection process.

Positive 

Rolls-Royce SMR’s chief operating officer David White told World Nuclear News: White said: “The overwhelmingly positive response, resulting in more potential sites than we might have hoped for, means we have more information to assess but is vitally important in helping us select the right locations for our factory.”

Trawsfynydd has been identified as a possible site for two SMRs before the end of the decade, and last week the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority which owns the decommissioned 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 developed by Rolls-Royce, with an aim to start on the work by 2027.


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Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
1 month ago

No problem with the technology although I take issue with the politics. Wales is already self sufficent with generation capacity. What benefits can we expect from the hosting of the SMRs together with the associated Grid infrastructure? Short term jobs are fine but need to ensure that senior roles in the management and operation of the stations are also local and not reserved for the influx of ex pats that choose to remain post commissioning. This is a familiar pattern that often means that it can take up to 20 years for locals to step into senior roles. Training programmes… Read more »

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago

I wholly agree with your comments, but for me the Tory Government is puring money into the wrong technology. Trawsfynydd would be much better used as a site for building wave power machines in quantity. We could get them going around much of the coast and reap the benefits long before the nuclear plants are working.

Marc
Marc
1 month ago

Could locating a multi billion £ nuclear power station in Wales be a decision designed to tie us into the Union?

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Marc

Sort of – it may prove veeery difficult to justify on those grounds in international law. Plenty of states have large infrastructure projects/gain access to natural resources from other nations. China owns mines in African states, nations export to others, US military bases all over the globe. That doesn’t make these countries part of the other. It, unfortunately, give a motivation for unionists to fight to keep us in figurative bondage (a misguided one in the long term – assets held in the territory of trade partners is usually a sign of economic health and influence for large nations, something… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by CJPh

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