National Nuclear Laboratory


Tuesday 9 November 2021

NNL welcomes government backing for Rolls-Royce SMR programme

The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) welcomes today’s announcement of £210 million of Government funding  to develop Small Modular Reactors (SMR) in the UK, matched by private investment. This is an important step in the move to a low carbon energy future for the UK, and towards meeting our commitments to be Net Zero by 2050. It is also an important recognition of the fact that nuclear power has a growing role to play in Britain’s energy future – both from traditional larger reactors, and from more innovative, smaller designs such as SMR.

Rolls-Royce small modular reactor
Artists impression of a Small Modular Reactor

NNL has been one of the members of the Rolls-Royce led SMR consortium along with Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Jacobs, Laing O’Rourke, the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and TWI.

Dr Paul Howarth, Chief Executive Officer of the National Nuclear Laboratory, said:

“We are proud to have been involved in one of the largest engineering collaborations the UK has ever seen – supporting our overall aim of using nuclear science to benefit society. We now look forward to continuing to work with the consortium partners and others to help turn the Rolls-Royce SMR from design concept to operational reality, both to help the UK reach its Net Zero commitment and potentially to bring low carbon nuclear power to other countries around the world.”