Nuclear programme to create Lancashire jobs

A new programme to build 16 mini nuclear power station will create 6,000 jobs, including some at the Rolls-Royce, site in Barnoldswick.

Rolls-Royce and Blackburn-based Assystem are major figures in the UK SMR consortium which plans to build the small scale facilities over the next 20 years, boosting the UK’s net zero commitments while securing exports of at least £250bn.

The power stations will generate 440MW of electricity, enough for a city of 450,000 homes for 60 years. The first will be operational within 10 years of the first order, and it plans to produce two units per year.

The plans say that up to 80 per cent of the work will be carried out in the Midlands and the north before being transported to the final site for completion.

Rolls-Royce, which will handle a large part of the process, recently cut hundreds of aerospace jobs at its Barnoldswick site during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom Samson, interim chief Executive of the UK SMR Consortium, said: "We have developed a manufacturing and assembly process that will make reliable, low carbon nuclear power affordable, deliverable and investable.

"By creating a factory-built power station that rolls off the assembly line we have radically reduced many construction risks associated with new nuclear power stations, and by using proven nuclear technology alongside standardised and simplified components, we make it much more cheaply."

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