Home » Union calls for British-made modular nuclear reactors

Union calls for British-made modular nuclear reactors

by Mark Cantrell
small modular nuclear reactor holtec

A trades union has urged the UK government to ensure that small modular reactors (SMR) are built in Britain as part of a “just” transition to net zero.

Unite made the call late last month, following the signing of a union recognition deal with Rolls-Royce SMR, which specialises in this nuclear energy technology.

The union’s call follows prime minister Rishi Sunak’s speech, where he announced a number of changes to net zero policy, but also that the government intends to shortlist companies that build a new generation of SMRs.

Alongside UK-based Rolls-Royce SMR, other bidders for the £20bn contracts include companies based in the Unites States, and Japan.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said:“The government has put the contracts to build SMRs out to international tender. This is despite the fact that UK-based Rolls-Royce SMR and its workforce are the world leaders in the technology.

“Not awarding this contract to Rolls-Royce SMR as quickly as possible would be a complete betrayal of UK manufacturing, and the exact opposite of a just transition. Not only would it endanger the potential to create thousands of decent skilled UK jobs, but it would also be a colossal act of economic self-harm.

“SMRs are pivotal to phasing out carbon-based energy sources and Rolls-Royce SMR is firmly placed to become a global exporter of this key technology. Frankly, it would be madness if the government gave this contract to a US or Japanese company.”

Read next: Talk digital this UK Construction Week

Are you a building professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.

Leave a Comment

Related News

Online building news, features and opinions

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More