Rolls-Royce SMR selected by developers bringing new nuclear to West Cumbria

Rolls-Royce SMR selected by developers bringing new nuclear to West Cumbria

11th November 2022

Rolls-Royce SMR has been selected as the preferred nuclear technology provider for the newly formed Solway Community Power Company ltd planning to bring new nuclear power to West Cumbria.

At a launch event hosted by Copeland MP, Trudy Harrison, the Chief Executive of Solway Community Power Company ltd, Paul Foster, laid out his plans to bring Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactors (SMR) to West Cumbria – the UK’s nuclear heartland.

Rolls-Royce SMR CEO, Tom Samson, said: “We have prioritised a number of locations across England and Wales, including land close to the Sellafield Site, with the potential to deploy the first in a fleet of Rolls-Royce SMR power stations. By utilising land owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in West Cumbria and partnering with Solway, we put ourselves in the strongest possible position to bring new nuclear on stream as close to 2030 as possible.

“The formation of a UK nuclear developer, committed to bringing new nuclear to West Cumbria, is excellent news and I’m delighted they have chosen to deploy Rolls-Royce SMRs - the UK’s sovereign nuclear technology.”

Paul Foster said: "Nuclear is a core part of our identity and heritage in West Cumbria, and we have a huge opportunity now to create new opportunities through the deployment of the Rolls Royce SMR. It’s not only about the jobs and supply chains needed to build and run it, it’s also about the new investments and industry sectors we could attract to the region, with an energy surplus to offer.

"The critical pieces already exist, such as land that could be suitable, interest from investors, and of course the modular solution from Rolls Royce SMR. Our job at Solway is to pull it all together - and we’ll be working closely with our community, who have an enduring stake in both its development and its decades of operation."

Trudy Harrison MP added: “This is an exciting day for Copeland, and the announcement of this vehicle to bring Rolls-Royce SMR to our area is a highly significant milestone. Nuclear is a clean, proven and reliable source of energy, and new nuclear power stations need to be on the bars with some urgency.

“I have always maintained that there is no better site in the UK – perhaps in the world – for Rolls-Royce SMR to locate their reactors than on land adjacent to Sellafield. We have the site, skills, experience and supply chain ready-made.

“Now the job of the new development company is to ensure this happens – to continue the legacy of world-class skills and opportunity in our area – and with Paul Foster at the helm, I have absolute confidence that this will be achieved.”

Each Rolls-Royce SMR will be factory built and capable of generating 470MW of electricity from a sustainable source, each - generating enough clean energy to power a million homes for 60 years. Deploying a fleet of SMRs in the UK would create 40,000 jobs across England and Wales.


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Dan Gould, Head of Communications

Rolls-Royce SMR

M +44 (0) 7717 720809

[email protected]

Notes to Editors:

Rolls-Royce SMR will draw upon standard nuclear energy technology that has been used in 400 reactors around the world.  

The Rolls-Royce SMR power station will have the capacity to generate 470MW of low carbon energy, equivalent to more than 150 onshore wind turbines and enough to power a million homes. It will provide consistent baseload generation for at least 60 years, helping to support the roll out of renewable generation and overcome intermittency issues.

Solway Launch.jpg: “Trudy Harrison MP at the launch of the Solway Community Power Company.”