Atkins designs new UK SMR consortium power station


The UK SMR consortium has unveiled the design of its proposed new factory-built nuclear power station, known as a small modular reactor (SMR).

Engineering and architectural design consultancy Atkins led the station’s civil, structural and architectural design, which has been influenced by modular development and construction methods that ensure power station components can be manufactured in a factory and assembled on site.

Features include a faceted aesthetic roof, surrounding earth berm integrated with the surrounding landscape and a compact building footprint.

Led by Rolls-Royce, the consortium is working with UK Research & Innovation to secure a fleet of factory-built nuclear power stations, each expected to provide 470MW of electricity. Exports are also being targeted to help governments around the world with their net zero obligations.

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“As a consortium, we’re seeking to refresh the image of the energy sector with a contemporary and sustainable design that takes pride in its aesthetics and environmental awareness while supporting delivery of ambitious net zero commitments,” said Peter Sell, chief design engineer, UK SMR at Atkins.

The consortium is aiming for this to be the first design assessed by regulators in Autumn 2021, with ambitions to complete its first unit in the early 2030s and built up to ten by 2035.

Tom Samson, UK SMR consortium CEO, said: “Nuclear power is central to tackling climate change, economic recovery and energy security. To do this it must be affordable, reliable and investable and the way we manufacture and assemble our power station brings down its costs to be comparable with offshore wind at around £50 per megawatt-hour.”



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