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UK to build Rolls-Royce mini nuclear reactors

The British government will roll out investment in Rolls-Royce mini nuclear reactors in the coming years, to help meet ambitious climate goals.

A consortium of investors has backed a Rolls-Royce fund for the mini reactor project, that will be matched by the UK taxpayer.

So far Rolls-Royce had raised £210m (US$290) in funds from various investors.

Tom Greatrex, the chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), said: “Match-funding for Rolls-Royce would be a huge signal to private investors that the government wants SMRs alongside new large-scale stations to hit net zero. It would also show investors that the government believes in nuclear as a green technology.”

Each mini reactor will produce around 470 megawatts (MW), enough to power nearly 1.3m homes in the UK.

The first will come online in 2031 and around 16 Small Nuclear Reactors or SMRs will be build around the country.

About 20% of the nation’s electricity comes from 13 nuclear reactors capable of producing 7.8GW of power. But more than half of that capacity comes from reactors due to retire by 2025, and plans to replace them have stalled, the Guardian reported.

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