Rolls-Royce today announced plans to work together with AREVA, the French nuclear power plant and services provider, on jointly agreed programmes which will see the first new nuclear reactors built in the UK for over 20 years. Rolls-Royce and AREVA have agreed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and will work together on supply chain development, manufacturing and engineering services.
George Lowe, President – Civil Nuclear, said: “ I am delighted that Rolls-Royce and AREVA have agreed this important MoU. Rolls-Royce has significant and growing capabilities in the civil nuclear sector which place us in a strong position to work on new nuclear programmes as they develop in the UK and across the world. Working with AREVA on EPR projects is a key element of this strategy.”
Mike O'Brien, Minister at the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "This is good news. It represents a vote of confidence by AREVA in the UK new nuclear market and a vote of confidence in the UK supply chain. This is the welcome face of low carbon energy we'll see more and more over the coming decades, opening up enormous potential for UK plc at home and globally."
The civil nuclear market is currently worth around £30 billion a year globally and is expected to grow to £50 billion a year in 15 years time, more than 70% of which will relate to the build and support of new facilities. It is estimated that the nuclear programme in the UK will sustain 10-15,000 jobs over 25 years of which 45% will be engineers.
Rolls-Royce established a new business unit earlier this year to address the global market for civil nuclear power. The Group has the capability to offer a broad range of civil nuclear ‘know-how’, including work related to the safety, design and installation of nuclear plant, as well as their operation, management and support.
Rolls-Royce has the largest nuclear skills base in the UK, with an existing nuclear certified supply chain of 260 companies, and supports a number of the key phases of a civil nuclear programme, including providing advice to governments and operators as well as technical engineering support. Currently, the Group provides safety critical instrumentation and control in Europe, the USA and many other international markets, including all 58 operating nuclear facilities in France.