Latest News | 29 March 2023

Rolls-Royce signs agreement to support Ukraine rebuild

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Rolls-Royce has signed an agreement with Ukraine to explore the possibility of supplying small nuclear power stations to the country as part of its rebuild.

Rolls-Royce SMR has signed an agreement with Energoatom, Ukraine’s national nuclear energy generating company, to work together in looking at future possibilities of deploying Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

According to the agreement, Rolls-Royce SMR makes a commitment to support the rebuild of Ukraine with its factory-built Small Modular Reactor power station – each capable of generating enough carbon-free electricity to power a million homes for more than 60 years.

Tom Samson, chief executive of Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “The UK Government has led global efforts to support Ukraine and its people, it is an honour to support these efforts.

“We first began discussions with a Ukrainian utility company before the Russian invasion, after they saw how their country could benefit from a fleet of SMRs.

“Through Britain’s sovereign nuclear technology, we can potentially help the people of the Ukraine rebuild rapidly and restore their energy security and their independence.”

According to Petro Kotin, president of Energoatom, Ukraine is aiming to achieve energy independence – something which it cannot do without advanced nuclear technologies.

He said: “The cooperation between Energoatom and Rolls-Royce SMR has reached a new level.

“We have signed an agreement that will allow Ukraine not only to start an efficient post-war recovery of the energy infrastructure, but also to become one of the first countries in the world to attract promising technologies of small modular reactors for this purpose.”

Rolls-Royce SMR is a company created out of Rolls-Royce, which has its civil aerospace and defence divisions in Derby.

In the city, Rolls-Royce makes nuclear reactor cores for Royal Navy submarines – and is also home to the Nuclear Skills Academy.

Established in 2021, Rolls-Royce SMR is focused on developing a factory-built nuclear power plant that is deliverable and scalable at a global level.

It has said that a single mini power station could occupy around a tenth of the size of a conventional nuclear plant and generate enough power for around one million homes.

In the UK, its plans could create 40,000 jobs when fully operational by 2050 and generate £52 billion in economic benefit.

In the meantime, it has been signing agreements with countries across Europe, including the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Poland.

Last week, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Fortum to jointly explore the opportunities for the deployment of small modular reactors in Finland and in Sweden.

Fortum’s strategic priorities are to deliver reliable clean energy and drive decarbonisation in industries in the Nordics.

The agreement with Rolls-Royce SMR is part of Fortum’s newbuild feasibility study exploring the prerequisites for new nuclear in Finland and Sweden.

Alan Woods, director of strategy and business development at Rolls-Royce SMR, said: “Rolls-Royce SMR is honoured to be collaborating with Fortum, as one of the most respected nuclear operators in the Nordics, and we see great benefit in the co-operation between our two organisations.

“The importance of energy security has increased dramatically and we see our unique approach to nuclear new build – focusing on delivery capability and cost effectiveness – as the best solution to providing low-carbon energy for generations to come.”

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