Derby engineering giant Rolls-Royce has offered to help the people of Ukraine rebuild the country. It is proposing to one day supply the war-torn nation with small nuclear power stations, known as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
The company is investing hundreds of millions of pounds developing the factory-built, low cost, low carbon SMRs. Each reactor would be around a tenth of the size of a conventional nuclear plant and generate enough power for around one million homes. Much of the expertise for the vast project comes from Rolls-Royces’ Raynesway site where nuclear reactor cores powering the Royal Navy’s submarines are designed and built.
Rolls-Royce SMR has now signed an agreement with Energoatom, Ukraine’s national nuclear energy generating company, to work together in looking at future possibilities of deploying the reactors in the war-torn country. Rolls-Royce SMR is a spin-off company from Rolls-Royce, which has its civil aerospace and defence divisions in Derby. The city is also home to Rolls-Royces’ Nuclear Skills Academy.
Tom Samson, chief executive of Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “The UK Government has led global efforts to support Ukraine and its people, it is an honour to support these efforts.
“We first began discussions with a Ukrainian utility company before the Russian invasion, after they saw how their country could benefit from a fleet of SMRs.Through Britain’s sovereign nuclear technology, we can potentially help the people of the Ukraine rebuild rapidly and restore their energy security and their independence.”
Energoatom president Petro Kotin said Ukraine would only be able to achieve energy independence with the help of advanced nuclear technologies reports BusinessLive. Mr Kotin said: “The co-operation between Energoatom and Rolls-Royce SMR has reached a new level.
“We have signed an agreement that will allow Ukraine not only to start an efficient post-war recovery of the energy infrastructure, but also to become one of the first countries in the world to attract promising technologies of small modular reactors for this purpose.”
Rolls-Royce hopes its SMR plans could create 40,000 UK jobs when fully operational by 2050 and generate £52 billion in economic benefit. In the meantime, it has been signing agreements with countries across Europe, including the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Poland. The SMR project is a key part of Rolls-Royce’s new chief executive officer Tufan Erginbilgic’s plans for the company in the coming years.
Last week, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Fortum to jointly explore the opportunities for the deployment of small modular reactors in Finland and in Sweden.
Source : Derbyshire