Daily Management Review

Rolls-Royce raises over $600M to develop small nuclear reactors


Rolls-Royce has raised more than $600m to develop small nuclear reactors for the UK.

Half of the funding for the project will come from the British government. The company estimates the country will need 16 such nuclear power plants by the end of 2050. Rolls-Royce has raised £455 million ($617 million) to fund a project to develop a small modular small nuclear reactor (NPP), Bloomberg reported. Nearly half of the funding will come from the UK government. 

The first NPPs could appear in the early 2030s. Rolls-Royce estimates that the UK needs 16 such units between 2030 and 2050 to replace aging nuclear power plants. "This is a unique opportunity for the UK to generate more low-carbon energy than ever before and ensure the country's energy independence," Reuters quoted Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng as saying.

The UK government is investing £210 million over three years and a further £245 million from private companies, including Rolls-Royce, BNF Resources and Exelon Generation. Rolls-Royce will get about 80% in the new project. The company's shares rose 4% on the news, Reuters points out. They have already risen 33% since the start of the year on the expectation that the downturn in the aviation industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the agency noted.

Funding for this project will allow new steps to be taken to get the technology approved by UK regulators and determine where mini nuclear power plants the size of two football fields each can be placed. According to Tom Greatrex, executive director of the Nuclear Industry Association, the funding also showed investors that the UK "believes nuclear power is a green technology".

source: bloomberg.com