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Rolls-Royce slips as rivals win grant for Hartlepool mini-nukes 

Published 05/04/2024, 09:48
© Reuters.  Rolls-Royce slips as rivals win grant for Hartlepool mini-nukes 
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Proactive Investors - Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LON:RR) shares faced a blow as X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear were awarded £3.34 million from the government to build mini-nuclear reactors in Hartlepool.

These funds will aid X-energy and Babcock (LON:BAB) International PLC-owned Cavendish’s plans to build 12 mini nuclear generators, known as small modular reactors, in the County Durham town by the early 2030s.

“We are delighted to receive this [...] award,” X-energy UK head Carol Tansley commented in a press release.

“It reflects the readiness of our advanced technology to contribute to the UK’s energy needs.”

X-energy added it would match the government funding under aims to eventually build 40 such reactors in the UK, offering power for 6 million homes, alongside sites in the US.

Small modularised reactors have long been proposed as cheaper and faster-to-build alternatives to traditional nuclear reactors, such as EDF’s costly Hinkley Point C.

This is given their modularised design, which it is hoped will allow most production to take place in factories.

Rollout of the technology is likely to take years though, with just three designs, from Rolls-Royce, GE Hitachi and Holtech, currently being assessed by regulators in the UK.

X-energy’s Xe-100 design is yet to enter this process, which itself takes several years, while a government plan to support the rollout has faced delays in recent months.

Rolls-Royce, which has spearheded mini-nuke development in the UK, warned in February that its first reactors could be built oversees as a result, with the government said to be fearing legal action from those not chosen in the SMR competition.

Rolls-Royce fell 1% to 414.80p on the news.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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