Teesside Welcomes The Latest Smr Innovation

Teesside welcomes the latest SMR innovation

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Teesside welcomes the latest SMR innovation

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 months ago
  • Author: Allan Stevenson

We’re Teesside, proud to lead the way when it comes to regeneration and innovation. So, after years of hard work to bring Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology into development to drive forward clean nuclear power generation, it was fantastic to see Teesside announced as the location for the first privately funded SMR – technology that is yet to be brought to life in the UK.

As a resident of Teesside, I’ve seen first-hand the rise and fall of heavy industry, and in recent years redevelopment aspirations turning into reality. It’s this passion that people across the region have to rebuild bigger and better and position themselves at the forefront of the energy transition, that makes me proud to live here and support local businesses.

What are Small Modular Reactors?

For those unfamiliar with developments within the nuclear sector, SMR technology provides a more scalable and regional alternative to large-scale power stations. Utilising existing nuclear energy technology, the power generation process has been completely redesigned into a smaller structure that can be modularly built in factories before being brought onto site for final assembly.

On traditional large-scale power stations parts are typically custom built, so this new approach to produce modular parts reduces fabrication and manufacturing timescales and allows generators to be set-up much quicker than the years it takes to build a nuclear new build power station. The smaller scale also results in reduced environmental impact during the manufacturing process, such as carbon emissions. Every aspect of its design prioritises innovation and safety, and its single manufacturing location makes distribution easier for on-site assembly.

The smaller scale also makes them less intrusive when they are built locally – taking up a much smaller footprint and reducing the impact on local residents.

Teesside’s new Small Modular Reactor

Seal Sands has been identified as the ideal location on the north bank of the River Tees, in plans Community Nuclear Power have announced to build four reactors with the capability of producing 1.5 gigawatts of nuclear power. Their chosen SMR is Westinghouse’s AP300™ model.

The energy generated is likely to be enough to power up to two million homes, providing more robust local energy infrastructure, whilst also providing potential to support the region’s industrial sector. With continued industrial development across the Tees Valley, the welcome addition of Small Modular Reactors will help to spearhead net zero projects and new industrial expertise such as hydrogen and carbon capture.

Preparing Teesside for the next generation of nuclear power

Suppliers up and down the region are encouraged by the news that Teesside will be the first location in the UK to see SMR technology built. With plans to have them completed by the early 2030s, local businesses know that the work starts early to engage the supply chain and develop the skills and capability to benefit from economic projects such as these.

Here at NRL, we work with organisations across the engineering and energy sectors, to ensure they have the right people, expertise and skills within their permanent and contracting workforce – positioning them ready to maximise the full benefits of regional investment such as this. Looking at how they can attract the best talent to their businesses, meet their own growth plans and create a diverse and inclusive workforce. Because when it comes to Teesside leading the way, our team are passionate about ensuring as many local people as possible benefit from rewarding regional career opportunities.