Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc says it will take 12 years to build its prototype small nuclear reactor in the U.K. Rolls-Royce needs as many as five years for the licensing and design assessment process, while construction will take another seven for its first 440-megawatt model, Wood. China is talking about making a couple of new 400 MW deep pool nuclear reactor prototypes within 3 years and then mass producing them by the dozens with 2 years needed to make each one.
Britain is one of several countries assessing the feasibility of building small modular reactors, or SMRs, as they seek cleaner options to coal-fired generation. SMRs are seen as a cheaper and more manageable alternative to giant projects such as the 20 billion-pound ($28 billion) Hinkley Point C in England, which has already run over budget and is several years behind schedule.
China General Nuclear (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) are both looking to develop small nuclear (400 MW thermal) reactors for district heating. They are China's top two nuclear energy companies.