Rolls-Royce Small Modular Power Plants

Rolls-Royce Small Modular Power Plants

Seaborg Technologies, an organisation in Denmark, have designed barges featuring modular nuclear reactors that use molten salt as a method to moderate the reactions taking place. These reactors present little danger should something go wrong, producing no gas and keeping the incident localised as the salt will solidify and be able to be cleaned up once it has. These barges would be capable of producing anywhere between 200MW to 800MW of energy and being modular they can be easily assembled and transported. 

Rolls-Royce has been granted £210 million by the UK government with an added £195 million from investors to develop an “SMR” (Small Modular Reactor) of its own. The idea is that the components for the nuclear reactor will be mass produced in factories and then easily transported by truck to the desired location, the modular design means components can be kept within the size a truck is limited to carrying. The Rolls-Royce SMRs are expected to produce 470MW, enough electricity for one million homes and will only cost £2 billion compared to the cost of standard nuclear power stations of over £20 billion. They also take up only four hectares of space whilst large nuclear power stations can take up to 174 hectares. 

A fuelled demonstration is planned by 2026 with further plans to begin producing units in 2028, the company hoping that the SMRs will produce electricity for more than the National Grid, instead being used also as back-up electric power for hospitals, data centres and military bases as well as being ideal for off-grid locations. Rolls-Royce also hopes that other green fuel locations will use these for their electric such as green hydrogen production firms and those creating synthetic aviation fuel and plans to try selling their SMRs abroad. 

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