Engineering giant looking at two sites in Gloucestershire for next generation nuclear power stations
Engineering giant Rolls-Royce has confirmed it is considering building two mini nuclear power stations in Gloucestershire.
The company is currently assessing potential sites for a network of mini nuclear reactors which it is looking to connect to the power grid by the end of the decade.
The plan is to create a network of small modular reactors (SMRs), which can be built more quickly and cheaply than large-scale reactors, at different sites around the country.
The company has confirmed that senior representatives have visited Berkley and Oldbury in Gloucestershire.
David White, chief operating officer at Rolls-Royce SMR business, 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.”
Small modular reactors can be manufactured and then transported to the site.
The power plants will be about the size of two football pitches and power one million homes.
The new scheme has generated hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs.
Rolls-Royce has short-listed three sites for the factory to make the SMRs, two in the northeast of England and one in North Wales.
A senior team from Rolls-Royce has toured the two sites and held meetings with local stakeholders, including landowners and the Western Gateway.
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.”