compact nuclear power stations
Compact nuclear power station. Artist's impression

Progress is underway for compact nuclear power stations, as Rolls-Royce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Turkey’s state-owned energy generation company, EUAS International ICC, to conduct a study into this technology.

Also known as small nuclear reactors (SMRs), these nuclear power stations are a low-cost alternative to meet global power needs and support clean economic growth.

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Nuclear energy
Power generation

The MOU is to carry out a study to evaluate both the technical, economical and legal applicability; and also the possibility of joint production of compact nuclear power stations to underpin clean economic growth.

This announcement will help the provision of low carbon energy systems and marks an exciting new chapter in the strong relationship between the UK and Turkey.

The agreement, which Rolls-Royce has signed in its role as a member of a consortium designing this power station, commits to a study that will look at the technical, licensing, commercial and investment cases for the deployment of the consortium’s power station; potential construction processes; and market potential in Turkey and globally.

The consortium, which is designing the compact nuclear power station comprises Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Rolls-Royce, Jacobs, The Welding Institute (TWI), and Nuclear AMRC.

(L)David Orr, SMR consortium director, Rolls-Royce and (R) Yahya Yılmaz Bayraktarlı, CEO, EUAS International ICC

David Orr, consortium director at Rolls-Royce, said: “Addressing climate change is not only our planet’s most pressing long term challenge but also can be a crucial economic opportunity. Our power station is affordable, fast to deploy and is an attractive investment that will stimulate tens of thousands of jobs regionally and embed prosperity and quality of life for decades to come. Turkey’s domestic and regional nuclear power opportunities are incredibly exciting, and we look forward to exploring how our consortium’s power station will support its energy, economic and industrial ambitions.”

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Climate change

Yahya Yılmaz Bayraktarlı, the CEO of EUAS International ICC, added: “Our vision is to diversify electricity resources with nuclear power. We aim to develop a sustainable nuclear industry, which contributes to economic growth and social wealth of the country. Turkey already develops nuclear power plants of larger scale with its international partners. Competitiveness in price is an important indicator for us. The feasibility of small modular reactors is a research and development issue we continuously monitor.”

Components for compact power station will be manufactured in standardised sections in factories, before being transported to sites for rapid assembly inside a weatherproof canopy.

This cuts costs by avoiding weather disruptions, provides excellent conditions for workers and secures incremental efficiency savings by using streamlined and advanced manufacturing processes for its components.

The result is lower upfront costs, and a faster, more predictable construction and commissioning periods.

Collaboration between Turkey’s energy sector and Rolls-Royce has been active since 2013 when a joint supply chain study was undertaken with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Turkey and Istanbul Technical University.

This new agreement will see phased collaboration during the next two years.