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(53,343 posts)
Tue Jan 28, 2020, 09:02 AM Jan 2020

Rolls-Royce plans to build up to 15 mini nuclear reactors in Britain

Rolls-Royce plans to build up to 15 mini nuclear reactors in Britain

Rolls-Royce has announced that it plans to build, install, and operate up to 15 mini nuclear reactors in Britain, with the first set to go online in nine years. In a BBC Radio 4 interview with business journalist Katie Prescott on January 24, 2020's Today program, Paul Stein, chief technology officer for Rolls-Royce, said that the company is leading a consortium to produce factory-built modular nuclear reactors that can be delivered for assembly by ordinary lorries.


Each power station is projected to have a service life of 60 years and generate 440 MW of electricity, or enough to power a city the size of Leeds. The estimated cost of the electricity generated is £60 (US$78) per MWh.

"Our plan is to get energy on the grid in 2029," Prescott told the BBC. "The obvious sites to put them are what we call brown-field sites – sites where we're running elderly or decommissioned nuclear power stations. There are two sites in Wales and one in the northwest of England. Eventually in the UK, we’ll be rolling out 10 to 15. We're also looking to a significant export market. In fact, the current estimate for the export market for SMRs is £250 billion, so this could be a huge industry."

According to a previous press release from Rolls-Royce, the British government has already promised £18 million in matching funds, or about half the present costs of the endeavor, with the consortium partners providing the rest. Prescott says that the advantage of the Rolls-Royce plan is that it doesn't involve building a whole new reactor, as other companies have tried to do, but rather to adapt a present design. In addition, the reactors will be built along manufacturing lines rather than civil construction, which the company claims will drive down costs rather than inflating them.

Not a green energy like wind or solar but these can be very safe and remove a lot of dependence upon fossil fuels

I remember several years ago articles floating around about GE and plans for neighborhood-sized reactors. These are a bit bigger but we’ll see how they do I guess
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(42,862 posts)
1. How vulnerable will they be to attack and/or natural disaster?
Tue Jan 28, 2020, 09:08 AM
Jan 2020

What shall we do with the waste? Maybe there's still room in Sierra Blanca Nuclear Waste site.


(4,533 posts)
2. We need to stop global warming, this is a possible solution
Tue Jan 28, 2020, 09:19 AM
Jan 2020

I have seen encouraging reports about possible ways to decontaminate nuclear waste. Maybe we can find a solution. Dirty air kills many millions every year. I have changed from opposing nuclear power to reluctantly supporting it.


Ghost Dog

(16,881 posts)
4. Based on what they install in nuclear submarines,
Tue Jan 28, 2020, 09:30 AM
Jan 2020

I guess. I'd like to see them smaller, and with built-in automatic waste containment.


(53,343 posts)
9. These are much cheaper to build. And quicker.
Tue Jan 28, 2020, 01:27 PM
Jan 2020

1 1/2 years vs decades

Decommissioning would likely be much less intensive too


(9,026 posts)
10. Yes, but still remains to be included in the cost estimates.
Tue Jan 28, 2020, 01:37 PM
Jan 2020

And those rarely ever are accurate.

Just curious if the estimated cost

I assume they learned from the past.


(38,571 posts)
8. We face some stark choices.
Tue Jan 28, 2020, 01:03 PM
Jan 2020

1. We can abandon the high energy industrial consumer economy many affluent people now enjoy.

Unfortunately an economy powered entirely by "renewable" energy might not be able to support seven and a half billion people.

(Gently reducing the human population is another problem... so far it seems the only way to do it is by empowering women and improving living standards.)

2. We can ignore global warming, continue to use fossil fuels, and hope for the best as the oceans rise, bad weather gets worse, and the familiar natural environment and world economy collapses around us.

3. Or we can build modern nuclear power plants and maintain the sorts of government institutions required to run them safely.

It's absurd to argue about "nuclear waste" when we are already dumping so much fossil fuel waste into our air and water, some of it radioactive, some of it containing toxins that have a half life of forever, and all of it releasing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

The only way to quit fossil fuels is to quit fossil fuels.

There's enough fossil fuel in the ground to destroy the earth's environment as we know it. It doesn't matter how fast or how slow we burn it, it doesn't matter how many wind turbines or solar panels we build if we are using fossil fuels as "backup power" whenever the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. The end result of burning fossil fuels fast or slow is the same, and it is grim.

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