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LONDON: Rolls-Royce is set to work alongside the UK government to develop a fleet of small nuclear reactors to produce cleaner energy.

The British engineering firm said in a statement it had created a Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor unit, following £ 195million ($ 264million) in cash from US energy firm Exelon and the private company. BNF Resources UK over three years.

The remaining £ 210million comes from government research grants.

A single small Rolls-Royce power plant will cover the space of two football fields – a tenth the size of a conventional nuclear power plant – and power around one million homes.

The new company plans to create up to 40,000 jobs by 2050.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson supports the move, which is part of his “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” published last year.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This is a unique opportunity for the UK to deploy more low carbon energy than ever before and to achieve greater energy independence.”

Rolls-Royce Managing Director Warren East added that the new unit was “one of the ways Rolls-Royce is responding to the need to ensure the UK continues to develop innovative ways to combat the threat. global climate change “.

The new unit could build up to 16 reactors across the UK for £ 2 billion each, the BBC reported.

That’s less than the £ 20 billion each for the largest factory under construction at Hinkley Point in Somerset and its sister site in Sizewell in Suffolk, which has yet to be approved.

Rolls-Royce added that it “engages with export customers on many continents who need this technology to meet their own net zero commitments.”

Other Western countries, the United States and France, are also developing small nuclear power plants for use in their home markets and abroad – a challenge for China, which is a leader in the export of nuclear power plants. in the world.


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