Rolls-Royce SMR, supported by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), has successfully completed a siting assessment review into the potential options for deploying Rolls-Royce SMR power stations. The study is another important step in deploying a fleet of small modular reactors (SMRs) that could help ensure the UK can reach net zero and bolster the country’s energy security. This is the first phase in a programme of work which is considering siting, collaboration opportunities and the socio-economic benefits of deploying Rolls-Royce SMR units on land within the NDA estate – with other locations across the UK also being evaluated.
The work is consistent with NDA’s mission to clean up the UK’s earliest nuclear sites safely, securely and cost-effectively to release them for other uses – with the aim of benefiting local communities and the environment. It follows the announcement earlier this year from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that the NDA would work alongside interested parties, including Rolls-Royce SMR, to enable engagement on potential future nuclear developments on its sites.
Within the NDA estate, there is land with the potential to host the UK’s next generation of nuclear power stations. The study has identified a range of sites that could host several GW of new, low-carbon power from Rolls-Royce SMRs with four NDA sites prioritised. Of these, Rolls-Royce SMR has identified four potential land parcels – two are within the control of the NDA (land at Trawsfynydd and land neighbouring the Sellafield site) with two others on NDA land leased to a third party (Wylfa and Oldbury). Any formal commitment of NDA land, or other support, would require government approval via NDA’s sponsoring department, BEIS. Rolls-Royce SMR matched the sites against a set of assessment criteria that will enable stations to be operational by the early 2030s, including: existing geotechnical data, adequate grid connection and a site large enough to deploy multiple SMRs.