Rolls-Royce has offered to help the people of Ukraine rebuild the country by offering to one day supply it with small nuclear power stations.
The UK engineering giant, which is based in Derby, is investing hundreds of millions trying to develop factory-built, low cost, low carbon Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). Each reactor would be around a tenth of the size of a conventional nuclear plant, and generate enough power for around one million homes.
Rolls-Royce SMR has now signed an agreement with Energoatom, Ukraine’s national nuclear energy generating company, to work together in looking at future possibilities of deploying the reactors in the war-torn country.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed on 20 March 2023, allows the two companies to work together in looking at future possibilities of deploying Rolls-Royce SMRs in the Ukraine, when the country begins its re-build.
According to the document, Rolls-Royce SMR makes a commitment to support the rebuild of Ukraine with its factory-built Small Modular Reactor (SMR) power station – each capable of generating enough carbon-free electricity to power a million homes for more than 60 years.
The Rolls-Royce SMR CEO Tom Samson said: “The UK Government has led global efforts to support Ukraine and its people, it is an honour to support these efforts. We first began discussions with a Ukrainian utility company before the Russian invasion, after they saw how their country could benefit from a fleet of SMRs.
“Through Britain’s sovereign nuclear technology, we can potentially help the people of the Ukraine rebuild rapidly and restore their energy security and their independence.”
Petro Kotin, President of Energoatom, noted that Ukraine continues its course towards energy independence, which is impossible to imagine without advanced nuclear technologies: "The cooperation between Energoatom and Rolls-Royce SMR has reached a new level. Today we signed an agreement that will allow Ukraine not only to start an efficient post-war recovery of the energy infrastructure, but also to become one of the first countries in the world to attract promising technologies of small modular reactors for this purpose.”
Rolls-Royce SMR is a spin-off company from Rolls-Royce, which has its civil aerospace and defence divisions in Derby where it makes nuclear reactor cores for Royal Navy submarines. Derby is also home to the Nuclear Skills Academy.
Rolls-Royce hopes its SMR plans could create 40,000 UK jobs when fully operational by 2050 and generate £52 billion in economic benefit.
In the meantime, it has been signing agreements with countries across Europe, including the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Poland.
Last week, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Fortum to jointly explore the opportunities for the deployment of small modular reactors in Finland and in Sweden.