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Shortlist announced for first Rolls-Royce SMR factory

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Rolls-Royce has announced a list of potential locations for its first small modular reactor (SMR) factory in the UK.

The factory will be the first of three and will be responsible for the manufacture of the heavy vessels for the company’s SMR power plant.

Rolls-Royce said the planned factory will be the largest and most complex facility of the three and construction will begin once it receives the go-ahead to build a fleet of SMRs in the UK.

The shortlist was picked from over 100 submissions and chosen sites are: Sunderland, Richmond in North Yorkshire, Deeside in Wales, Ferrybridge in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Carlisle.

The other two factories will manufacture civils modules and mechanical electrical and plumbing (MEP) modules.

The components will be transported to sites and assembled into a nuclear power station that will generate 470 MW of low-carbon electricity. Each of the initial run of reactors is expected to enough capacity to power the equivalent of 1.3 million UK homes.

The Rolls-Royce SMR programme is forecast to create 40,000 regional UK jobs by 2050 and generate £52bn in economic benefit. The compact design of the SMRs is said to increase site flexibility and maximises potential plant locations, including replacement for existing coal or gas-fired plants.

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