LONDON (Reuters) - Rolls-Royce has asked Britain's government for clearance to begin the 4-5 year long process of seeking regulatory approval for its small modular nuclear reactor, it said on Wednesday, the first step towards commercializing the technology.
Britain earlier this month backed a $546 million funding round at the company to develop the country's first small modular nuclear reactor (SMR), in a drive to reach net zero carbon emissions and promote new technology with export potential.
"This is an important moment for the nuclear industry, as a UK SMR reactor design enters the initial process for regulatory approval for the first time," Helena Perry, Regulatory and Safety Affairs Director at Rolls-Royce said in a statement.
All new nuclear power projects need approval from Britain’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) through its Generic Design Assessment which is expected to take 4-5 years to complete.
Britain's government must first give companies clearance to submit their designs to the regulator, a process that is expected to take up to four months before the formal review process can begin.
(Reporting By Susanna Twidale; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)