The move is set to help Prime Minister Boris Johnson race to his target of zero-carbon electricity by 2035 in a move set to impress ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in less than two weeks time. Mr Johnson visited Rolls-Royce’s Bristol factory on Friday, where he was shown their state-of -the-art facility by their CEO, Warren East. A consortium led by Rolls-Royce had already secured £210million in backing from private investors for the small modular reactor (SMR) project, a sum that the Government is expected to match and even surpass.
Confirmation is expected before the spending review on October 27.
The consortium called UK SMR, is set to rebrand British engineering firm Rolls-Royce SMR under a request from the Government.
Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), said: “Match-funding for Rolls-Royce would be a huge signal to private investors that the government wants SMRs alongside new large-scale stations to hit net zero.
“It would also show investors that the Government believes in nuclear as a green technology.”
Government support will help with the consortium’s multi-billion pound plans to build 16 SMRs up and down the country.
The first SMR is expected to join the UK grid by 2031.
The reactors are designed for easy construction and installation and will have a capacity of 470 megawatts (MW) which is enough to power nearly 1.3 million British homes based on average household usage.
The firm has also said their new products will produce power for producing sustainable aviation fuel.
Rolls-Royce is also being advised by HSBC, which has helped it secure £210million from private investors, which was a condition set by the government for them to hand out at least the same amount of funding.
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In 2020, tech firm Toshiba pulled out of a plant at Moorside in Cumbria, while Hitachi withdrew planning consent for a project at Wylfa Newydd, on Anglesey earlier this year.
Hinkley Point C, the UK’s long-planned nuclear power plant that is yet to begin operation, is due to start generating electricity from 202.
But only one new project, Sizewell C is scheduled with no final investment decision yet made.