Rolls-Royce SMR announces shortlist for first factory

Rolls-Royce SMR has announced a list of potential locations for its first factory that will manufacture the heavy vessels for its Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power station.

Rolls-Royce SMR

This is the first of three factories, with construction set to commence once Rolls-Royce SMR receives approval to build a fleet of SMRs.

The locations of the final shortlisted sites are Sunderland, Richmond in North Yorkshire, Deeside in Wales, Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Carlisle. The shortlist was picked from over 100 submissions from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and development agencies.

In a statement, Rolls-Royce SMR chief executive, Tom Samson, said: “I would like to thank everyone who sent in a submission suggesting locations in their region for the first Rolls-Royce SMR factory. The response was fantastic and 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 will come from the shortlist and will result in significant investment, long-term high-skilled jobs and will support the UK government’s aspirations for levelling-up. Today’s announcement is another example of the pace of our project and why Rolls-Royce SMR is the UK’s domestic nuclear energy champion.”

The other two factories will manufacture civils modules and mechanical electrical and plumbing (MEP) modules, which will be transported to sites and assembled into a 470MW nuclear power station. These locations will be selected from the full list of submissions.

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state for business energy and industrial strategy, said: “This is fantastic news for Sunderland, North Yorkshire, Deeside, Lincolnshire and Carlisle which, if these SMRs go ahead, could be at the forefront of manufacturing components for this British-made tech.

“Backed by £210m, SMRs have the potential to provide quicker and cheaper low-carbon nuclear power, and today’s announcement underlines the potential for new jobs around the country created by embracing this new technology.”