Gateway East is a key site for Doncaster and South Yorkshire. Credit: Business Doncaster

South Yorkshire makes four-strong factory shortlist

Holtec Britain needs a location to build a fleet of small modular reactors for use in the nuclear sector – and Gateway East at Doncaster Sheffield Airport is in the running.

The SMRs, set to be a major part of the drive to net zero, would be built at the factory site at the rate of two a year, to be supplied to nuclear facilities across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.

The site itself would not deal with any nuclear fuel. Holtec is one of the companies looking to advance SMR factories, with others including Rolls-Royce’s nuclear division also advancing plans.

The chosen location to build the Holtec Small Modular Reactor SMR-300 will benefit from estimated investment over the years of construction and operation of £1.3bn, Florida-headquartered Holtec International said, adding that the development and operation of the factory is anticipated to generate thousands of jobs over the next 15 years.

Economic analysis carried out by ChamberlainWalker estimates the project is projected to contribute approximately £1.5bn in GVA to the economy of the chosen location.

Of the 13 areas to submit expressions of interest, four remain:

  • South Yorkshire Combined Authority
  • West Midlands Combined Authority
  • Tees Valley Combined Authority
  • Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership

A final decision to select the preferred site will be made in the autumn.

Holtec has been active in the UK for over a decade, notably with Sizewell B. Its presence in the UK continues to grow, supported by Professor Dame Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge, who joined as a senior adviser in February.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, said: “I’m pleased to see we’re on the shortlist to be the home of Holtec’s new UK factory.

“South Yorkshire is cementing our place at the forefront of manufacturing the UK’s Small Modular Reactor capability, in partnership with world leading companies like Holtec.

“We have the biggest cleantech cluster in the UK because of our capabilities and expertise, and this is yet more evidence of those unique strengths.”

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