Rolls-Royce SMR milestone as first regulatory step initiated
17th November 2021
Rolls-Royce SMR Ltd has submitted a 470MW Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design for entry to the UK’s Generic Design Assessment (GDA) regulatory process.
The first step is to secure clearance from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through its initial screening process, which will confirm the Rolls-Royce SMR business is suitability qualified to enter the Office for Nuclear Regulation, Natural Resources Wales and Environment Agency’s combined GDA process.
This initial screening process reviews whether a company has the capability and capacity to successfully enter the UK GDA process. The Government evaluation process is expected to take up to four months before the regulators can begin their formal review process.
Helena Perry, Regulatory and Safety Affairs Director, commented:
“This is an important moment for the nuclear industry, as a UK SMR reactor design enters the initial process for regulatory approval for the first time. We have already made 270 design decisions during our pre-licensing engagement and are confident of working with the experienced regulatory teams to deliver an efficient GDA process."
Perry continued: “We will have around 300 people working full time on these important regulatory processes. Both the industry and regulators have learnt a great deal from previous GDA processes, and we will integrate those lessons into the collaborative approach we will take with the UK regulators.”
Director of Corporate and Government Affairs – SMR
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Notes to Editors
Rolls-Royce has been a nuclear reactor plant designer since the start of the UK nuclear submarine programme in the 1950s.
Rolls-Royce SMR will draw upon standard nuclear energy technology that has been used in 400 reactors around the world.
A Rolls-Royce SMR power station will have the capacity to generate 470MW of low carbon energy, equivalent to more than 150 onshore wind turbines. It will provide consistent baseload generation for at least 60 years, helping to support the roll out of renewable generation and overcome intermittency issues.