UK minister joins Rolls-Royce SMR for Czech visit

27 January 2023

Trade minister Greg Hands said he hoped discussions held during his visit with senior Rolls-Royce SMR executives could "lead to exciting opportunities". The Czech Republic has plans for small modular reactors (SMRs), with a number of different firms in talks over options.

How a Rolls-Royce SMR plant might look (Image: Rolls-Royce SMR)

The visit follows an agreement signed between Rolls-Royce and CEZ in 2020 and "looked at routes to deploying Rolls-Royce SMRs in the Czech Republic and at the opportunities to build on expertise in the supply chain from both countries".

Rolls-Royce CEO Tom Samson said: "There is a significant opportunity to export our British technology to the Czech Republic and the wider region in support of their low-carbon energy aspirations ... the Czech Republic has a strong nuclear heritage and, by combining the skills and expertise from the two countries, we can find a route to bring this technology here by the early 2030s, in a way that brings huge benefits for all."

Hands, UK minister for trade policy, said that exporting "not only helps businesses grow, but also supports jobs, drives productivity and boosts the economy" adding that small modular reactors offered an important option "for enhancing energy security”.

During the trip the delegation also visited Skoda JS and Doosan Skoda Power in Pilsen, which "alongside Rolls-Royce SMR factories in the UK, could form an important part of the plans".

The Rolls-Royce SMR is a 470 MWe design based on a small pressurised water reactor, with the company hoping to get the first one online in the UK by the end of the decade.

In March 2022 CEZ said that it had earmarked an area of land at its Temelín site to be used in the future for the construction of the country's first SMRs, adding that it has already signed MoUs in the field of SMRs with NuScale, GE Hitachi, Rolls-Royce, EDF, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and Holtec, and has also held discussions with Westinghouse.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News