Home » Balfour Beatty to develop small modular nuclear reactors in the UK

Balfour Beatty to develop small modular nuclear reactors in the UK

by Sion Geschwindt
small modular nuclear reactor holtec

Balfour Beatty has joined forces with an American and a South Korean company to develop small modular nuclear reactors in the UK.

The contractor has signed a memorandum of understanding with US energy equipment supplier Holtec and Korea’s Hyundai Engineering & Construction (HDEC) to promote the construction of Holtec’s SMR-160 pressurised light-water reactors in the UK.

Balfour Beatty will act as the main UK construction partner and collaborate with HDEC on the civil construction and installation of the mechanical, electrical and heating, ventilation and cooling systems as well as the equipment required for Holtec International’s SMR-160 reactors.

Holtec International is planning to start the UK regulatory acceptance process of its SMR-160 reactors in 2023, which, if granted, could mean the start of the construction of the first UK unit by 2028.

Stephen Tarr, Balfour Beatty’s chief executive for transport, energy & power major projects, said: “We look forward to working with Holtec International to drive forward clean energy solutions. Our partnership will build on our long-standing experience and expertise in delivering nuclear projects and will ultimately support the UK’s transition towards a net zero future.” 

Richard Springman, Holtec International senior vice president, said: “The United Kingdom is at a turning point as it navigates through this energy crisis. The decisions made today will impact how future generations in the UK live and work, and the viability of its economy as a whole.

“I believe it will need multiple, complementary nuclear power plant designs based on proven pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology already operating in the United Kingdom to assure carbon-free energy security 10 years from now; and we have to start now.”

Read next: Bill Gates’ TerraPower secures $750m to advance nuclear mini-reactors 

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