Rolls-Royce and ČEZ to explore SMR deployment

09 November 2020

British engineering company Rolls-Royce and Czech utility ČEZ have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the potential for small modular reactors in the Czech Republic. Rolls-Royce is leading the UK SMR Consortium, which also includes Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and TWI. ČEZ has already entered into similar agreements with NuScale and GE Hitachi.

An artist's impression of the UK SMR (Image: Rolls-Royce)

The UK SMR concept is a standard small pressure water reactor, with a planned operating time of 60 years and installed power of 440 MWe. The construction period of the entire facility should not exceed five years, ČEZ noted.

Tom Samson, interim CEO of the UK SMR Consortium, said: “The affordability and speed with which we can assemble the entire power station will no doubt make it a very attractive option for ČEZ as it looks to its future reliable low-carbon energy supply."

Daniel Beneš, chairman of ČEZ added: "New energy solutions and technologies play an important role in our business and we have been focusing on small modular reactors for quite some time now, especially in our top research company UJV Řež. In the future, they can be an important alternative that we cannot ignore."

ČEZ operates six units at its Dukovany and Temelín nuclear power plants, which produce more than a third of all electricity in the Czech Republic. ČEZ subsidiary Elektrárna Dukovany II is currently working on the construction of a new unit at the Dukovany site. It intends to operate the existing units for 60 years.

Bohdan Zronek, a director of ČEZ's Nuclear Energy Division, said: "Although we are working intensively on a new reactor unit at Dukovany, we are involved in these projects with a view to further development of nuclear energy, whose position in the energy mix of our company will continue to grow."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News