UK minister joins Rolls-Royce SMR for Czech visit
On 10th June 2021, UK Minister for Business, Energy, and Clean Growth, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, visited the Czech Republic to join the Rolls-Royce-led consortium, aiming to develop Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
The consortium comprises of leading firms in the nuclear sector, including Jacobs, Laing O'Rourke, and the National Nuclear Laboratory, and aims to design and develop nuclear reactors to combat climate change.
The visit provided an opportunity for Trevelyan to understand the progress and ambitions of the consortium, which aims to develop the world's first commercially viable SMR in the UK by the end of the decade. She also discussed the UK government's support for nuclear power and the role of SMRs in achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The UK government has made a significant investment in SMRs, pledging £500m over the next five years to support their development. The technology offers a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to larger nuclear reactors, and it can be deployed in a variety of locations, including remote and off-grid areas.
During the visit, the consortium unveiled its design for a 440MWt SMR, which can generate enough electricity to power a city of 450,000 people. The design aims to optimize safety and minimize costs, using advanced materials and digital engineering techniques.
The Czech Republic is also exploring the potential of SMRs, with the government committing to developing a regulatory framework for their deployment. The country has a long-standing history of nuclear energy, with six nuclear reactors currently in operation, providing over one-third of its electricity.
The collaboration between the UK and Czech Republic in SMR development presents an opportunity for both countries to lead the global shift towards low-carbon energy sources. It also highlights the importance of international cooperation in achieving climate goals and creating a sustainable future.
In conclusion, Anne-Marie Trevelyan's visit to the Rolls-Royce-led SMR consortium in the Czech Republic demonstrates the UK government's commitment to nuclear power and its potential in combating climate change. The collaboration between the UK and Czech Republic presents an opportunity to develop innovative solutions to the challenges of reducing carbon emissions and creating a sustainable future.