Energy futuresNew nuclear unit at Rolls-Royce

Published 18 July 2008

Rolls-Royce estimates worldwide civil nuclear power market could be worth £50 billion a year in fifteen years time; company wants a piece of the action


Here is
another indication of the growing business appeal of nuclear power: Rolls-Royce is establishing a new business
unit to address the global market for civil nuclear power. The company estimates that this worldwide market could be worth £50 billion a year in fifteen years
time. The company claims it has the largest nuclear skills base of any U.K. company, with around 2,000 specialist
nuclear-focused employees in the United Kingdom, France, and the United States. It also says it has the U.K.’s most substantial nuclear supply chain,
comprising around 260 proven suppliers. The company’s strength in nuclear power
originates from its involvement in the development and support of the nuclear
steam raising plant for the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarine program. In
addition, it established Data Systems & Solutions (DS&S) in 1999.
DS&S provides safety critical instrumentation and control for civil nuclear
reactors in Europe, including France’s 58 reactors, the U.S., and other markets such as China. “The expansion of the civil nuclear market
represents an exciting opportunity which builds on our extensive nuclear
capabilities,” said Sir John Rose, chief executive of the company.

The new unit will provide a
service that can support a number of the phases of a civil nuclear program,
including providing advice to governments and operators, technical engineering
support, and safety assessments, manufacturing, procurement, and through life
support. The company estimates that by 2023 the global civil nuclear market,
currently worth around £30 billion a year, will be worth approximately £50 billion
a year, with £13 billion in support to existing nuclear plant, £20 billion in
new build, and £17 billion in support for new reactors. The work that
Rolls-Royce currently undertakes for the Royal Navy’s submarine program will be
unaffected by the changes.