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Rolls-Royce asks to submit mini nuclear technology to Britain's regulator

Rolls-Royce asks to submit mini nuclear technology to Britain's regulator
Rolls-Royce asks to submit mini nuclear technology to Britain's regulator   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

LONDON – Rolls-Royce has asked Britain’s government for clearance to begin the 4-5 year long process of seeking regulatory approval for its small modular nuclear reactor, it said on Wednesday, the first step towards commercializing the technology.

Britain earlier this month backed a $546 million funding round at the company to develop the country’s first small modular nuclear reactor (SMR), in a drive to reach net zero carbon emissions and promote new technology with export potential.

“This is an important moment for the nuclear industry, as a UK SMR reactor design enters the initial process for regulatory approval for the first time,” Helena Perry, Regulatory and Safety Affairs Director at Rolls-Royce said in a statement.

All new nuclear power projects need approval from Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) through its Generic Design Assessment which is expected to take 4-5 years to complete.

Britain’s government must first give companies clearance to submit their designs to the regulator, a process that is expected to take up to four months before the formal review process can begin.