Holtec and Rolls Royce both shortlisted to work up designs in autumn

US small modular reactor power station builder Holtec International has been handed a £30m grant to develop the design and technology for its small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) known as SMR-300.

Last year, the firm teamed up with Balfour Beatty to build its next-generation mini nuclear power stations in the UK. Under this agreement, Balfour will work on the civil construction and installation of the M&E and cooling systems.

Along with UK engineering giant Rolls Royce, Holtec was shortlisted by the government-owned Great British Nuclear in October to develop its SMR design. Holtec has been awarded the money from the UK government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.


Holtec’s manufacturing base is in Camden, New Jersey

The government’s ambition is for up to a quarter of all UK electricity to come from nuclear power by 2050.

Holtec said it eventually wants to build a factory in the UK and create an export hub from here for Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Gareth Thomas, director of Holtec Britain said: “We are delighted to see that the government recognises Holtec’s expertise and welcomes its fast-paced rollout of SMR technology in the UK to meet nuclear demand of 24GW by 2050. We hope to grow our current Holtec Britain team to 400 by 2026 and to over 1,000 by 2032. We currently see the UK as the preferred base for our international export hub for Europe and MENA.”

Based in Florida, Holtec employs 2,000 people and was set up in 1986. It has a manufacturing complex based in New Jersey which it is looking to expand after US authorities gave it a grant to help build the first wave of SMRs.

Rolls Royce has teamed up with a consortium including Bam Nuttall and Laing O’Rourke to build its version of an SMR power station.