Monday 25 December 2023

Rolls Royce wants to build MINI NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS in Ukraine

 Prominent British aerospace and defense company Rolls Royce is in discussions with Ukraine's largest power company, DTEK, to collaborate on the construction of a series of mini nuclear power plants across the country. DTEK is responsible for one-fifth of Ukraine's electricity.

The Telegra1ph reported that DTEK, owned by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, is considering the installation of small modular reactors (SMRs) at sites currently powered by coal stations.  

DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko envisions nuclear power playing a crucial role in the company's future portfolio as Ukraine participates in the global shift away from primarily relying on fossil fuels, especially when the country begins rebuilding whenever the Russian special military operation in Ukraine concludes.

This strategic move aligns with Ukraine's urgent need to diversify its energy sources and embrace decentralized and renewable options, such as wind and solar farms. The initiative is also a response to Russia's targeted bombing campaign, specifically aimed at disrupting Ukraine's grid infrastructure during the harsh winter months.

Despite increasing reliance on renewable energy, Timchenko underscores the significance of nuclear power for ensuring energy security in Ukraine. He highlights ongoing discussions with Rolls-Royce SMR to potentially convert the substantial capacity of coal-fired power stations within DTEK's portfolio. According to the current state of the negotiations, DTEK and Rolls Royce would convert up to eight existing coal power plants, including two which are currently in Ukrainian territories occupied by Ukraine.

Ukraine is already heavily reliant on nuclear energy. Before the beginning of Russia's special military operation, Ukraine's four state-owned plants generated over half of the country's power.

Notably, one of these sites, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, is currently situated in occupied territory. As part of the ongoing discussions with Rolls Royce, DTEK is also exploring the possibility of establishing part of the SMR supply chain in Ukraine, leveraging the country's existing expertise in nuclear engineering. The details of these discussions remain confidential, according to Rolls-Royce SMR.

In response to Russian attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure since the conflict erupted in February 2022, DTEK is actively seeking alternative energy sources.

SMRs envisioned as a clean energy solution

Rolls Royce describes its SMR as an "affordable and eco-friendly energy solution" that utilizes proven and readily available technology to create a fully integrated nuclear power plant in a factory setting. It emphasizes modularization and maximizes factory-based work.

The global demand for clean energy has propelled the significance of the SMR, offering reliable pathways to achieve net-zero goals. It has been meticulously designed to meet this monumental global challenge and aspires to establish a world-class product to meet the demands of the global market.

The scalable factory-built model allows Rolls Royce to adapt to increasing demand by investing in additional factories using the same design and management systems applied to all SMRs.

Rolls Royce SMR power station boasts a 470-megawatt capacity of low-carbon energy, equivalent to over 150 onshore wind turbines. With a lifespan of at least 60 years, it ensures consistent baseload generation, supporting the expansion of renewable generation.

Occupying just one-tenth of the size of a conventional nuclear generation site, the Rolls Royce SMR is factory-built, allowing completed modules to be transported by various means, reducing vehicle movements and completion risks while enhancing build time certainty.

A Rolls Royce SMR power station, equivalent to the size of two football pitches, can power around one million homes, supporting on-grid electricity and off-grid clean energy solutions for industrial processes and the production of clean fuels.

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