A WORLD-LEADING nuclear engineering company which has its UK headquarters in East Lancashire has announced it will become part of a consortium that is leading the way in the design and build of up to 16 low-carbon compact nuclear power stations.

The consortium, comprised of Blackburn-based Assystem, Atkins, BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL), Nuclear AMRC, Rolls-Royce, Jacobs and TWI, is working to design a first-of-a-kind power station that will be at the heart of the Ulow-carbon economy and aim to create 40,000 jobs in the UK. 

Each power station will provide enough electricity to charge 63,000 electric vehicles, 88 million smartphones and power 40 million lightbulbs, enough energy to power a city the size of Leeds. 

Working as a fleet, it is anticipated these power stations will bring a secure supply of electricity when reliance on fossil fuels decreases to meet the net zero carbon emissions target in 2050.

Peter Higton, UK managing director of Assystem, said: “What this consortium is trying to achieve is very exciting for the UK economy, bringing our varied industrial expertise in design, technology, construction and manufacturing together to tackle climate change and help achieve net zero by 2050 alongside renewables.

“These new compact power stations produce low-carbon electricity, are innovative, and can be designed, manufactured and built in the UK.”

Assystem has a presence in all the main countries developing nuclear energy including the UK, France, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt, and believes that decarbonised, affordable and safe electricity generated through large and small nuclear power stations will provide the foundations for a sustainable energy future.

The company, located on Evolution Park, Haslingden Road, is bringing expertise from the design and build of nuclear projects across the world to this new challenge and will be delivering enhanced engineering services by combining nuclear expertise with the most advanced digital and data methodologies and tools to provide a reliable basis to move production forward. 

Assystem will lead on the turbine island, cooling water island and balance of plant development of structures and systems through model-based systems engineering, generative design and original project delivery model approach.

The consortium is match-funding the £18m investment confirmed by the Government organisation UK Research and Innovation. 

The first power station is targeted to be built and connected to the national grid by 2029.