A senior team from Rolls-Royce SMR has this week visited potential locations for its small modular reactor (SMR) power stations and met stakeholders from communities around the Berkeley and Oldbury nuclear sites.
The visit follows an announcement last year where Rolls-Royce SMR prioritised its first four sites which have the potential to host 15GW of new nuclear power. Oldbury was amongst the sites in this ‘first wave’ with Berkeley presenting significant potential and earmarked for further investigation by Rolls-Royce SMR.
During a packed programme of meetings and visits, senior representatives from Rolls-Royce SMR toured the Oldbury and Berkeley sites, meeting with landowners, District and Local Council representatives and the Western Gateway team.
David White, Rolls-Royce SMR’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This has been an extremely important step for us – allowing us to better understand the sites, see the potential for Rolls-Royce SMRs and, most importantly, meet representatives from the communities to discuss their aspirations for bringing new nuclear to the region.
“Rolls-Royce SMR’s factory-built power stations will play a significant part in guaranteeing future energy security for the UK and providing clean, affordable electricity for generations to come while supporting thousands of highly skilled jobs. We are looking to agree a route forward with Government to enable us to start building British factories, commissioning supply chain contracts and agreeing export deals abroad as soon as possible. It is vital that we maintain the momentum we have created and move from development into deployment.”
Cllr Toby Savage, Vice Chair of the Western Gateway Partnership, said: “It is great to see continued interest in our sites at Oldbury and Berkeley. Our area has a long history of expertise in pioneering new forms of energy generation and it was good to be able to demonstrate this to our guests from Rolls-Royce SMR.
“Sitting at the heart of the Western Gateway, Severn Edge will be a key part of our area reaching net zero while also creating high quality jobs and new educational opportunities for future generations. Alongside our partners, we are in the process of exploring a range of options to make sure we find the best use for these sites to unlock their potential.”
Each Rolls-Royce SMR would create enough clean energy to power a million homes for 60 years. Deploying a fleet of SMR in the UK would create 40,000 jobs across England and Wales.